LAKELAND SKATEPARK WILL CLOSE AT 8 PM STARTING FEBRUARY 29TH
LAKELAND, FL (February 23, 2016) - Starting Monday, February 29th, the Lakeland Skatepark at Fletcher Park on Lake Bonny will close at 8 p.m. The park’s new hours will be 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
City of Lakeland staff met with members from the Lakeland Skate Alliance on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 to discuss issues that are taking place at the park. Bob Donahay, Director of Parks & Recreation said, “We have fielded a number of complaints from parents regarding illicit behavior taking place after sundown. We’ve had staff members that have been threatened when trying to enforce the rules.” He added, “We met with representatives from the Lakeland Skate Alliance and the group is in concurrence that closing the park at dark is the first step in curbing the behavior.”
The Lakeland Skatepark is owned and operated by the City of Lakeland. It opened on May 18, 2013 at a cost of $1.3 million. The 22,500-square-foot facility has quickly gained notoriety as being one of the best skateparks in Florida. Donahay said, “We designed the park to be free and user friendly with the idea that it would not have a full-time attendant. Unfortunately, because of the bad behavior from a few, we are having to modify the hours of operation as a last resort before looking at the possibility of having a full-time attendant at the park.” Donahay elaborated, “With today’s budgeting process, we would have to charge users in order to pay the attendant. We don’t want to do that and we are hoping the behavior will stop.”
This skate park is unsupervised and all users assume full risk in entering the facility. Helmets are required for all skaters under the age of 18 and on-site adult supervision is required for all skaters under the age of 12. Skaters are asked to adhere to the following rules and guidelines when using the Lakeland Skatepark:
- Helmets and pads are required for anyone under the age of 18.
- Be patient and wait for your turn in the park.
- Be courteous to others.
- Exercise caution in wet areas they are slippery.
- Food or drink is not allowed in the skate able areas.
- Illegal drugs, tobacco or alcohol are NOT allowed in the park.
- Keep the park free of litter and graffiti.
- Those using profanity, abusive language, or fighting will be asked to leave.
- Skating is only allowed during the posted hours of operation.