Calling it “a true result of strong community collaboration for youth,” Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett – joined by Germantown residents, business owners and local youth -- today celebrated the opening of the first skate spot in the Upcounty region.
Located at the 5th District Police Station at 20000 Aircraft Drive, the Germantown Town Center Skate Spot resulted from recommendations Leggett received from local teens who participated in the Germantown Community-Based Collaboration (CBC). The CBC is a group of local community residents, nonprofits, faith leaders, and business and government representatives established by the Executive, as part of his countywide Positive Youth Development Initiative, to identify existing and missing resources for Germantown’s youths. Efforts over the past two years have included partnerships to provide mentoring, opportunities in the arts, job readiness, public speaking and basketball skill development.
Leggett said, “Locally, skate parks and spots provide a valuable opportunity for positive youth engagement in much safer and secure locations. They offer some relief for many communities and businesses against complaints of trespassing, noise, traffic accidents, and disorderly conduct. They can keep our youth off the streets.”
When it was learned that the project fell outside of the scope of a federal grant, 5th District police officers stepped forward and built the structure, with support from the community. Input on the design/layout was solicited from a group of youths who have been testing the equipment for the past couple of weeks.
Valuable input, donations and materials came from the following:
• Three Police interns provided much free labor;
• the County’s Department of Transportation donated some used jersey barriers (painted by 5th District officers), enhanced the parking lot and street lighting, and provided the "Skate at your own risk" signs to address liability concerns;
• a welder from Montgomery County Public Schools built some grinding poles and reinforced the ramps;
• Montgomery County Department of Parks provided swinging trash cans;
• The Home Depot at Milestone gave discounts on building materials; and
• Wal-Mart at Milestone provided safety gear and totes to store the equipment.
A second skate spot is planned for Leaman Park on the west side of Germantown. The Upcounty Regional Services Center also has worked with the County’s Department of Recreation and the Damascus community to design an area on the grounds of the Damascus Community Recreation Center for a future skate park or spot.
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Media contact: Bonnie Ayers, 240-777-6507
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Program details: Cathy Matthews, Upcounty Regional Services Center, 240-777-8000