, 2022-10-27 09:59:00,
A group of skateboard enthusiasts in Horn Lake is asking the city for help to revitalize and clean up the city’s skatepark.
Austin Beard told the Board of Aldermen during the citizens concerns portion of its Oct. 18 meeting that a group of friends recently got together and formed the Horn Lake Skateboard Association, a network of skateboarders, parents, and advocates who are committed to improving the situation at the city’s skate park at Latimer Lakes Park.
Beard, who graduated from Horn Lake High School and moved back home to DeSoto County about 10 years ago after a stint in the U.S. Army, said the city’s skatepark is in poor shape compared to other skateparks in the area.
“I noticed that the condition of the skate park is not great,” Beard said.
Beard pointed out that some of the obstacles used by the skaters are in bad condition, there is graffiti at the park, no place to sit, and that the restrooms are locked and inaccessible to skaters and tennis players.
“Some of the graffiti has been there for over a year at this point,” Beard said.
He gave the board a handout with statistics showing that skateboarding is the third most commonly reported interest for high school students, and that skateparks are the fourth most used recreation space – more poplar than ballfields, play areas, fitness zones and dog parks in the total amount of weekly usage.
Beard said skateboarding also improves mental health and that youth and young adults get the recommended daily cardiovascular exercise in while skateboarding. Skateboarding is also the third least expensive sport out of the 21 most popular sports, behind only track and flag football.
“There are a lot of families in Horn Lake who can’t afford to do things like baseball and football and all of the traveling and that type of thing,” Beard said.
Beard conducted a survey of 40 skatepark users in Horn Lake and asked them questions ranging from how many times they use the skatepark to their opinion of the existing facilities.
According to the results, 32.5 percent of respondents said they use the skatepark a few times a week; 25 percent said they use the park a few times each week; and 20 percent said they use the park a few times a month.
“Of the people I interviewed, 77.5 percent go at least a few times a month,” Beard said.
Beard said 65 percent of the…
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