FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) — As skate parks become more popular in Alabama’s biggest cities, Florence residents say their park is no longer available.
One man in the Shoals is hoping to change that.
The Florence Skatepark is almost 20 years old and has been used by hundreds of skateboarders, cyclists, and other hobbyists. However, in recent years, some of the facilities have become cracked and unusable.
Now, skaters from across the area have gotten a petition together to have the area upgraded.
“They’re completely dilapidated at this point, falling apart and just super dangerous to be on,” said Cory Keenum, one of the petition’s organizers.
Keenum says he was at the skatepark when it opened in the early 2000s. Since then, he says the park has slowly deteriorated and the skating community in the Shoals has really begun to suffer — making it harder for new skaters to get involved.
“Our kids are going to need a place to go where they’ll be safe because, me growing up, I skated on the streets,” Keenum continued. “I don’t want that for my son, and I know none of the guys I skate with want that for their kids either.”
Keenum says skating should be a safe way to get outside and enjoy themselves. Without fixing the park, he says future skaters won’t have a safe place to practice.
“If a kid comes out here and decides that he’s going to roll down a ramp for his first on a skateboard and he falls in a hole and breaks his arm, the kid’s probably not going to pick up a skateboard again,” he said.
Florence Mayor Andy Betterton says the city has been made aware of the petition and they are working to find ways to resolve the issue.
Keenum told News 19 he plans to bring up the issue at the next city council meeting.