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Group hopes to breathe new life into skate park

The Selma skate park faces an uncertain future. Graffiti and lack of use have sent the park toward the proverbial chopping block.

Selma resident James Tennimon is doing everything he can to save it, though. His new skate park club held its first meeting on Saturday evening at the skate park. The meeting was a success in Tennison’s eyes, as he saw a good, enthusiastic crowd.

Tennimon’s interest in skateboarding was spawned by his grandson. They visited the skate park one day, and Tennimon came away impressed with the tricks he witnessed.

“We were out there skating one day and started showing him some tricks,” said Corey Rushing, a skate park regular. “He thought It was kind of cool, so he put our names down and said he was going to try to get something going at the sake park.”

The tricks were not the only factor behind the club’s sudden creation. Tennimon feared for the skate park’s future following a discussion with Elton Reece, director of Selma Parks and Recreation.

“He said that if something’s not done, they’re going to tear it down,” said Tennimon. “He said if I could do something with it, he’d get some positive growth out there.”

The club comes at a good time for skaters who, according to Rushing, received most of the blame for the spraypaint and damage the park endured. In time, it could save the park too.

“If we can keep events going, maybe more people will start skating out there,” said Rushing. “It wouldn’t be so empty most of the time.”

The club will meet again on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Tennimon sees the potential and value of the club to the park’s welfare, and hopes more skateboarders will participate in the future.

“It would be a positive thing for the parents to push it a little bit more and take their kids there and use it rather than just let five or six ruin it with paint,” said Tennimon.

Time will tell if the club can deter the negative element that endangered the park, but Reece feels it is going in the right direction.

“I’m just glad something positive is happening with the sake park,” said Reece. “Everything starts from a mustard seed. I’m looking forward to it.