Skate park a welcome addition

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2007

For those who believe one person can’t make a difference, you might want to re-think that.

A few years ago, a young teen, Clay Smith, mailed a letter to Mayor James Perkins Jr., complete with designs for a skating park.

An avid skateboarder, Smith saw the need in Selma for more recreational opportunities for children and teen-agers. He also saw that a park could be a way to bring the community together.

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This week, the foundation for the skating park is being prepared near the tennis courts at Bloch Park.

The park is being constructed with money approved last summer by the Selma City Council.

Each council member agreed to use – at their discretion – their share of funds derived from oil leasing appropriations.

Perkins himself committed his full share, providing the lion’s share of the $60,000 needed for the first phase of the park.

The park will be constructed in three phrases.

This is an example of something positive taking place in Selma for young people.

There are those opposed to the park, who believe it’s a waste of city funds. But since when is it a waste of money to build a recreational park for youth?

There’s also a concern the skating park will end up being an unsightly hangout.

But with proper patrols – and because the skating park is located in a well-lit, well-used area – it seems unlikely teens will participate in any more illegal activity than they are capable of now anywhere in the Bloch Park area.

We salute Clay Smith for getting the ball rolling on this project – and showing us that one person can indeed make a difference.