JACKSON – Connor Fletcher has spent a lot of time in the township’s skateboard park. He came forward to several township council meeting’s recently to express his full support of preserving recreational facilities in Jackson.
“I’ve lived in Jackson all my life. There is something I am passionate about,” Fletcher said referring to the condition of the skateboard park which is just a few blocks away from the municipal building.
“The entire time I’ve been skating there, someone is always bring up the fact that the park has never been finished. Don’t get me wrong, we’re very grateful to have what we have, especially me,” Fletcher said.
“That particular park gave me a sense of community when I was in an aggravated case of depression after coming out of the hospital. Skateboarders can identify with a sense of isolation or as misfits and we also share that feeling of never wanting to give up. I opened up and made great friends there,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher added that more room was available in the park that could be utilized and that it was currently without rest room facilities. “Not only is there a giant waste of space there but we were never provided a porta potty like other the other sports parks. Whenever we had to relieve ourselves we had to leave the park and cross the complex.”
The resident did not come before the council to ask for financial support to build on to the park but wanted to voice his concerns. “I wanted to come here and ask what it might take to make something happen.
“I’m hoping to get a porta potty or a light or two like other parks or resurfacing the blacktop. I’m willing to start a petition, start a GoFundMe, and even donate a thousand dollars of my own money so I know I won’t be wasting my time. I want to expand a part of the community that helped save my life and give more people the opportunity to enjoy skateboarding as I did,” Fletcher.
“That was very well done and well said and Councilman (Andrew) Kern has something to say about this as we are heading in the same direction,” Council President Robert Nixon said.
“Fantastic timing,” Kern said. He noted that the council had drafted an ordinance which was later approved on second reading that “would create a fund to allow us to open a bank account for people who want to give a tax deductible donation to sponsor a skate park, a hockey rink, ball fields and all those play areas and recreational facilities around town.”
Kern added that “every dollar donated can only go for playground equipment or for resurfacing surfaces. I thank our Business Administrator (Terence Wall) for helping set this up. I went with someone in public works to every area and spoke with someone at the skatepark for about 20 minutes and talked to them about their suggestions.”
Following that meeting Kern and Fletcher discussed more specific ideas of what could be done to that park.
Jackson has a number of playgrounds and recreational facilities throughout the community. Kern noted that some of those facilities needed upgrading and repairs but that safety and the needs of children and adults were always of prime interest and that the upkeep of those facilities were important to residents of Jackson.