This Friday, April 29, a new group called the Middlebury Skatepark Coalition is inviting folks to meet up at Ilsley Library to help get the ball rolling on the creation of a new skatepark. The group currently has more than 50 members, according to Middlebury dad Ethan Murphy, one of the driving forces behind the effort.
Here’s his pitch on why Middlebury needs a skatepark now:
Nearly 70% of youth in Vermont reported that the COVID-19 pandemic made their anxiety/worry, mood, or loneliness “a little” or “a lot” worse. (2020 VT Youth Planet Survey). According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, outdoor play is an effective tool to help teenagers cope with major stressors like the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, outdoor recreation is linked to income; only 27.5 percent of children from homes with incomes under $25,000 a year play sports compared to the 45.5 percent of kids from homes with incomes greater than $100,000 a year. (Aspen Institute) But there is a solution. Skateboarding.
Skateboarding is the third least expensive sport. (Aspen Institute/Utah State University 2019 National Youth Sports Survey) Skateparks foster a strong sense of community, build relationships among kids and families and help keep our children active and healthy in a safe, secure environment.
If you are interested in improving the mental and physical health of our youth, you are intent on improving our community more broadly, or miss your own skating days please join The Middlebury Skatepark Coalition. We are a thoughtful and committed group of local citizens working together to improve the lives of Addison Central residents. If you are an advocate of outdoor recreation we’d love to see you at our upcoming informational meeting.
The coalition is seeking advocates that represent a broad range of ages, ability levels, and disciplines (Skateboarding, BMX, WCMX, Scooter, Skate/Rollerblade).
Interested? Head to the Ilsley Library Community Room this Friday at 5 p.m.
Have a question or want to connect with Ethan? Email him here: [email protected]