By Susan Bromley
– The Village Skate Park will open next month with some new twists.
After the park was closed all of last year and for part of 2015 due to low registrations, the facility is set to open next month, operated under Brandon Township Parks and Recreation.
“I’m glad we have it back and we are going to market it for ages 15 and under and get an experienced site director so they can help kids learn the sport,” said Recreation Director Fred Waybrant. “We might even host a competition day. We are gonna make it fun.”
Waybrant was instrumental in helping to establish the Skate Park in 2005, organizing fundraising, donations, and in-kind services to put in place roughly $100,000 worth of equipment on a small parcel of land owned by the village at Cedar and Ball streets. The park, located adjacent to a basketball court and across from baseball fields at the Sherman Village Park, was popular with kids for several years after it opened, but not with neighbors. Village officials responded to complaints of noise, vandalism, littering, profanity and drug use at the facility by hiring a monitor, and incorporating a user registration fee and policy, which resolved most issues, but usage of the park declined.
In an effort to renew interest and use of the park, Waybrant will accept sign-ups for six recreation “sessions” at the park. Under the new recreation program, skate park participants must be 15 and under; are allowed to bring skateboards, bicycles, and in-line skates to use at the facility, but no scooters; and to gain admittance to the park, must register and purchase a punch card at the recreation office located at 395 Mill Street in the village.
The park will be open from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday for registered participants and closed on Saturday and Sunday. Session one will be May 8-June 2; session two June 5-June 30; session three July 3-July 28 (with the park closed July 4); session four runs from July 31-Aug. 25; session five Sept. 11-Oct. 6; and session six will wrap up the season from Oct. 6-Nov. 3.
Each session requires a $20 punch card, but youngsters who sign up for three or more sessions will receive a $5 discount for each punch card. Punch cards for all six sessions can be obtained for a total of $72.
The park will be closed in the event of inclement weather. Siblings of skaters will be admitted to the park without a punch card to observe only if a parent is present as Waybrant strives to keep the park from becoming a “hangout.”
He is currently seeking a site director. If less than 10 registrations are received for any given session, that session will be cancelled. Helmets are required and the site director will have the authority to remove any unregistered persons in the park, or any registered user not abiding by park rules governing sportsman-like conduct.
For more information, call 248-627-4640 or email