From left, Troy Gurling, a resident who lives on 37th Street by Park de la Cruz; Vincent Van, 17, a Hoover student; Charles Yem, 17, a student at Charter School of San Diego; and Zubin Eggleston, a City Heights resident who lives by Manzanita Gathering Place, look at skate park design options during a community meeting on Oct. 21 at the City Heights Recreation Center. Photo by Adam Ward
On Oct. 21, young people packed the City Heights Recreation Center for the first public meeting to design the Mid-City Skate Park in Park de la Cruz.
The City of San Diego Public Works Department, as well as design-firm Stantec and San Diego landscape architect Schmidt Design group talked about the concept and how it fits in with the community. The audience heard from the designers and then broke into groups to create design concepts and address community concerns. The groups cut out pictures of features from other skateparks and placed them on the plans to express their ideas.
Troy Gurling said he rents on 37th Street and invested in a babysitter to be part of the discussion.
"I grew up in a time when there were no skateparks," he said.
Gurling said the skatepark will be a positive for young people in the neighborhood.
"There are a lot of opportunities to go down bad routes," he said. "Kids in the neighborhood who have been skateboarding, they are safe and they are together. It's positive. They are not the kind of kids that are going to join a team."
He also said the opportunity to have an outdoor location for exercise is much needed.
Skateboarding "is body motion, kinetic motion," he said. There are "cardiovascular benefits of doing it."