Last week, Milton Police Chief Greg Brand announced the skateboard park might be closed down for a month at a time if skaters don't start wearing helmets while at the park.
In response to the City's threat, one skater has created a Facebook page in an effort to unite those who use the park. The page is already getting a lot of attention from local skaters.
"Milton Park, We Live to Skate" is the page created by Milton High School graduate Jason Goings, 20. He says the skate park meant a lot to him growing up and he doesn't want to see the closings happen. "I honestly don't know what I would have done if I didn't have that skate park to go to and I know many of the skaters there believe it as well because I have seen them there pretty much everyday for years."
Goings says it is his intention to, "Get the voice of everyone at the skate park in one place to give people an idea how the skate park really is and how much it means to us."
He says he personally does not believe it should be the decision of city officials whether or not helmets are worn - especially when waivers are signed and signage at the park says, "skate at your own risk". Some skaters over the age of 18 have questioned why they are being forced to wear helmets. Goings notes it is the skill level of the skater and not their age that makes a difference in whether they fall - and if they have learned how to fall.
A picture of a police officer in uniform on a skateboard is posted on the Facebook page with the words, "In Denmark, Police skate with you." Goings invites Milton Police to skate with the local skaters.
There are polls on the page for skaters to offer their opinion, as well as video links and photos of people using the Milton Skate Park.
There's even a message for the city police, "Milton PD, listen to what we have to say. That's the only way its gonna get solved without people going to jail or the only safe haven the kids got going away. Just think. Do you really want all of us, 100+, skating in your streets???"
Goings says it is his intention the Facebook page open dialogue between those affected by what goes on at the skate park. It appears to be working. Parents and skaters are exchanging information and ideas about the park, including the suggestion that crime is down at the park now that the public housing apartments near the park have closed.
Goings says many of the skaters cannot afford the helmets required by city ordinance. He agrees helmets at the park are a good idea at times - but not all the time.
"I think we should have helmets at the park but we shouldn't have to wear them all the time. Skaters know their limits and even I have put on a helmet when trying something new or hard," he adds.
"It's hard to say whether or not they will ever get rid of the helmet rule or not, but I believe the city should trust us more."
An on-line petition has been created on the Facebook page: Milton Park, We Live to Skate. Goings says if there is enough support, the group may take their cause to the Milton city council.