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Town’s skate park seen as a big success

Town’s skate park seen as a big success

While skateboard parks are problematic in some Capital Region communities, the Clifton Park Action P

While skateboard parks are problematic in some Capital Region communities, the Clifton Park Action Park off Clifton Country Road is considered a success.

“Things have been going really well over there,” said Myla Kramer, the town’s parks and recreation director.

The Action Park, which opened for the season April 1, was built nearly five years ago. It is located behind the Clifton Park Center mall.

“People want to know what special things we do here,” Kramer said about running the park.

But she said there is no magic to the operation of the 100-foot by 100-foot park that includes 20 pieces of concrete and modular skateboard equipment for both skateboarders and in-line skaters.

The town staffs the park and charges those who use it a fee: $6 per day for town residents and $12 for non-residents. A resident can buy a season’s pass for $60 while non-residents pay $180 for a season ticket.

She said she has spoken at two state recreation conferences about how the town developed and maintains the skate park.

“The town got a lot of input from skaters and rollerbladers,” Kramer said. She said this input came before the park was built in 2006.

The Action Park is the only one in the Capital Region with two Euro-Gap ramps, something the skateboard enthusiasts suggested as the park was developed.

Kramer said what she stresses to municipal leaders about skate parks is that skateboarding is a sport.

“They are athletes and their sport is skateboarding,” Kramer said.

People sometimes have negative impressions of skateboarders. She said these are not true.

“They are good kids,” Kramer said. “They take pride in the park here.”

She said the people who staff Action Park are skateboarders themselves.

In addition to the two Euro-Gap ramps in the park, Action Park is one of the only parks to have a modular ramp lined up with a concrete ramp.

American Ramp Co. of Missouri, the company that built the park, uses the Clifton Park facility as an example of good park design.

The town also tries to update the park on a regular basis.

Last year, the park generated $10,000 in season membership money and another $6,000 in day passes. This is about what it costs to staff and maintain the park. The town also spent an additional $3,000 to improve the park in 2009.

The park is open from 4 p.m. until dusk during the week and from 10 a.m. until dusk on weekends until school ends. During the summer the park is open from 10 a.m. until dusk, seven days a week.

However, this spring vacation week the park will be open from 1:30 p.m. until dusk today, Thursday and Friday.

A statement from the town about the opening of the skate park notes that the membership and day fees have not been increased since the park opened.

“In the last year, skate parks in both Saratoga County and Schenectady County have been closed,” said a statement from the town. “The skate park [Action Park] opens its fifth season as fewer options exist for skaters in the Capital Region.”

“On a busy day we get 30 to 60 kids,” Kramer said. “We try not to have too many kids in there at one time.”

Membership forms can be downloaded from www.cliftonpark.org and are also available at the Office of Parks, Recreation and Community Affairs in the Clifton Park Town Hall on Clifton Park Center Road.

Season memberships are not sold at the skate park itself.

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