By Marita Gardner
Some people believe that kids should just "skate in their drive-ways" - this is like saying you can do batting practice in the front yard. Initially it might work, but as they grow and get more skilled, it simply is not feasible.
A skate park would provide a safe, legal place for the youth of Redlands to participate in this ever-growing sport - more kids in the United States skateboard than participate in organized baseball! Kids from this area have to drive (or be driven) to Yucaipa, Fontana, Rialto, Jurupa or the beach cities to skate in a park designed for their needs. The kids from Redlands have been criticized for skating in public areas, as well as private property, but where else do they have to go?
Some folks are under the impression that these skateboarders are "troubled teens," but many of them are honor students, Eagle Scouts, science fair winners and volunteers in the community - just like other athletes. Let's be supportive of all the kids in Redlands and provide a place for them to socialize and exercise their creativity while they skateboard in a safe, legal place.