City dumps mulch on skate park, families clean it up
May 14, 2020
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
On the same day Tampa announced it will open its skate parks this weekend, the City of Gainesville spread dump trucks full of mulch all over the Possum Creek skate park today.
Parents arrived with skaters and were astonished that the park, which they had just used yesterday, was suddenly unusable. One parent told me that, with everything closed, the skate park had been a valuable outlet for her son’s energy. Parents and skaters quickly organized, sending people home for push brooms. Word spread on social media, and people who didn’t even skate arrived to help.
While skaters swerved around the mulch, parents pushed it into piles. Gainesville Police Department officers arrived a little after 7:00 p.m., but they only made sure nobody took any of the mulch.
The group worked until sunset, when officers told them the park was closed. There was a rumor that the city was going to come back with sand tomorrow, and the skaters said they would just come back and remove it.
City Manager Lee Feldman, who directed City workers to deliver and spread the mulch, said, “Open-air fields and trails are available for recreation at Possum Creek Park. At this phase in our reopening strategy, we continue to restrict access to high-touch areas and surfaces, including playgrounds, pavilions, and skate ramps. While we are making adjustments to certain park restrictions, we are doing so in a way that will help to ensure the health and safety of our community. That means having mechanisms and/or staffing in place to enforce rules and social distancing practices in accordance with our phase one reopening.”
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