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Great news on skate park

November 1, 2018

The last time that this space was used to offer comments about Norfolk’s Miracle Skate Park, it resulted in a bit of a verbal battle online.

The comments were published when the latest fundraising and improvement effort for the park were just getting under way. Here’s how that editorial started:

“There will always be a fairly large segment of the Norfolk population — ourselves included — that will never make use of the city’s Miracle Skate Park. But that doesn’t mean it’s an unimportant or unneeded element of the community.”

The editorial went on to offer words of encouragement for the fundraising effort.

Some park users objected to the assertion that a “fairly large segment” of Norfolk will never make use of Miracle Skate Park. But from our perspective, it seemed like a fairly obvious point. After all, the skill and athleticism required in skateboarding and similar activities almost automatically means not all will feel comfortable in participating.

So, today, this space is again being devoted to an exciting new development for Miracle Skate Park — the awarding of $425,000 in tourism development funds from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development to be used for renovation of the park. It’s a major step forward in those fundraising efforts that began months earlier.

Once again, we want the focus today to be positive, so, rest assured, no more references to how many people will use the park!

Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning provided a bit of history recently about the efforts to improve the park: “A few years ago, a group of dedicated and passionate citizens came forward with the idea of transforming our aging skate park into the biggest and best skate facility in the Midwest. Over a long period of planning, partnership building and collaborative effort, we are proud to say we can move from talking about this project to doing it.”

The Norfolk City Council set aside $125,000; several smaller grants were received and some private fundraising was done, too. But the announcement of the $425,000 in state funds was the big step all were hoping for.

The renovation will utilize concrete, which is more durable and quieter than wood. Additionally, the revitalized park will be handicap accessible, opening the door for people of all abilities to use. The park also will include accessible rest rooms, water fountains and bleachers as an attraction for a number of events.

It’s an exciting time for the Miracle Skate Park and its supporters and users.