Updated at 8:23 p.m. with information about what happened after 4:00 p.m.
People started showing up at Possum Creek Park early this morning to continue moving mulch off the skating surfaces. Meanwhile, Gainesville Police Department officers stood on the sidewalk and said they were waiting for a “permanent” sign that would declare the park closed. One adult said she was told that once the sign was up, adults in the skate park would be fined. However, the City has said at recent meetings that it doesn’t have the ability to give citations; it can only arrest or issue notices to appear.
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But by 4:00 p.m., all of the skating surfaces, including the bowl, were completely free of mulch, and skaters were once again enjoying all of the park’s features. Many people had heard that the City planned to bring “something heavier” than mulch, maybe sand, but so far that hasn’t happened.
Shortly after I left around 4:00, the signs arrived, along with police officers. The signs were posted, and the skaters were asked to leave.
However, when I returned around 7:30 p.m., the park was again full of skaters, mostly young adults, and no police officers were present. One skater showed me a bloody elbow and said he had injured it skating on the road. “If they close the park, we’ll just skate somewhere else,” he said.
The skaters were spread out and rarely touched anything other than their own skateboards or phones (one of the city’s stated reasons for closing the skate park is that it is a “high-touch” area).