By Emilee Eustis Staff Reporter
Students from UMF, along with the Farmington Recreation Department are hoping to bring back what was once a functional skate park for the town through a long-term community project.
On July 4th, 1991 a brand-new skate park called the “Dragon’s Nest” opened in Farmington. Steve Shible, the Parks and Recreation Director at the time, worked hard in the opening, finalizing and designing of the park to make a safe place for those who were skateboarding on the street to enjoy themselves.
Since then, the park has been covered and contains one standing hoop and a mini track to run on, taking away opportunities for avid skaters in town.
“I don’t remember the last time I drove through Farmington without seeing someone on a skateboard or longboard,” said Assistant Director of the Farmington Rec. Department, Jaycee Jenckes. “Having a SAFE and designated spot for people who love skateboarding would be excellent for the town and its residents.”
Along with efforts from the Rec. Department, students from the UMF campus have shown an interest in the potential rebuild of the park. Cody Denning, a Junior Business Psychology major at UMF said, “Farmington doesn’t have anything that really brings the alternative sports community together anymore.”
Denning and a few others have chosen the park as their point of interest for a semester long assignment in their Projects in Business/Economics class.
Denning and his group would like to include students from the University and members of the community to help in the planning of the park, and if it continues, the potential building of the structures. “I know that a lot of students that I have told about the potential project are delighted to help,” said Denning. “I feel this park reopening can help the Farmington community in many ways.”
The goal of the park reopening is to benefit both skateboarders and residents of the town by creating a place to enjoy the sport, while not interfering with traffic or causing potential harm to themselves. It also aims to introduce the younger generation to the alternative sport.
“It can act as a kind of experimental place for younger kids to try it out,” said Denning. “The park can also give parents peace of mind knowing their kids are at the skate park and not at an unknown location.”
Though the planning is still in the early stages, the Rec. Department is experiencing the benefits of collaborating with University students on community issues. “It’s nice to include college students on big projects because they bring lots of energy and enthusiasm for things that they are passionate about,” said Jenckes. “So if reviving the skate park is what they’re passionate about, then I have high hopes for the project.”
Denning and the UMF students will continue to work with the Rec. Department, as well as the community, in planning potential outcomes for the park as the semester moves forward. They will present results in December to see the progress made and what they need to do for the project to continue.