It was sad news last month when we heard out of Town Hall that a $50,000 upgrade to the town’s dilapidated skate park would be put on the back burner because the recreation department couldn’t afford it in the face of other priorities.
Though it may be a relatively small group of kids who use the park, it’s the recreation department’s job to provide recreational opportunities to as wide a range of town residents as possible — skaters included.
It’s sad that it’s been closed for repairs “indefinitely,” as a sign posted there states, especially since funds for the necessary work have been available for quite some time. And the park’s sheer size makes its emptiness, its rustiness and its loneliness even more glaring amid the fields, trails and dog park that are open to the public on a daily basis.
The town deserves recognition for moving the skate park up on a priority list that includes more glamorous projects such as softball field lights and, of course, the long-forgotten walking trail around the Enterprise Park at Calverton, which remains unfinished and for which many residents have been waiting.
Engaging our area’s youth and giving them the opportunity to use a facility like the Riverhead skate park are priorities our town should be proud to embrace. Hopefully, once the park reopens — ideally in the not-too-distant future — it will not close again, “indefinitely for repairs,” anytime soon.
Caption: Recreation Department supervisor Ray Coyne shows the the entire surface of one of the ramps is unsecured. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)