Families raise money for Berrien County skate park - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Families raise money for Berrien County skate park

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By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

BERRIEN COUNTY, GA (WALB) - Berrien County may soon get a skate park--if enough money can be raised to complete the project.

The county provided a vacant lot for the park but doesn't have enough money to pay for construction.  Parents want a safe place for their kids to skate to keep them off streets and sidewalks.

12-year-old Kelby Clarke started skateboarding two years ago.  With nowhere to skate in Berrien County, his parents had to build their own half-pipe in their yard.

"You just can't build your way up and learn new tricks without something to really practice on," Kelby explains. 

Recently, Berrien County provided a vacant lot on County Farm Road for a skate park to be built. However, due to a lack of funding, kids and parents are raising money themselves. 

"We've done all kids of coin collections," says Kelby's mother, Regina Clarke.  "We've had a softball tournament, we had a poker run, we've had a classic car run."

In total, the park will cost $35,000.  The skating community is just $5,000 short of that, and are turning to the community for help.  Parents say skating is a great way to keep kids healthy and active.

"I think because they're challenged physically and emotionally from doing this, they're busy. They're not interested in drugs or anything like that," says Regina.  "I've heard them talk about their 'high' coming from their adrenaline--from seeing if they can land that next trick."

The skate park would also enable kids to skate in a safe area, away from traffic.

Once completed, the 6,000 square foot skate park will house over a dozen ramps, suitable for every skill level, and also every sort of skating--everything from BMX to roller blading.

A fund has been set up at Citizen's Bank in Nashville to collect donations for the Berrien County Skate Park. Parents and skaters say they will continue their fundraising efforts until the park is built, and skaters have a safe place to practice what they love. 

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