Last night I went down to the East Branch Library because of a message I got through my Facebook page. What I found was a room full of about 100 energized skaters and bikers organizing around the idea of an Extreme Sports Complex in Greenville.
The meeting was led by Benjamin Herd of G.A.P.S (Greenville Advocates for Public Skate Parks. They spent most of the time brainstorming about what should be included in the complex. People were shouting out suggestions (most of which were words that I didn’t understand) with unbridled enthusiasm.
I still bike frequently but I haven’t been on a ramp in quite a while. Nevertheless, I’m excited by what I saw last night. When I was a teenager I spent a few days at the Extreme Skate Park near the East Branch Library. I was never very good but — at the time — it was one of the coolest things in the world to be able to do. So many kids (and adults) use these facilities. And because of community investment, along with the efforts of major stars, this has become something special about Greenville.
Even though it wasn’t my biggest hobby, it was a point of pride for me that I lived in a community where that was possible. These organizers are trying to build a community with greater opportunities for recreation and growth. If their effort is successful, we’ll see multiple generations carrying on a proud legacy in our city. And, we’ll also see an economic benefit from everyone who comes from out of town to visit the park.
There are many worthy projects in Greenville, but the ones that get built are the ones where the community organizes and rallies behind it. G.A.P.S is doing everything it needs to do to make it happen, but they need all the help they can get. If you would like to see this project come to fruition and would be willing to assist in any way, please join their Facebook group. After last night, I’m confident your efforts will not be wasted.