Strasburg skatepark receives grant from Kiwanis

STRASBURG – The town’s growing skateboard community is one step closer to getting a place to ride in memory of Trent Williams due in part to a $5,000 grant from Capital District Kiwanis Foundation.

Lorie Crabill, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Strasburg Board of Directors, recalled Trent as a boy who loved his family unconditionally, loved skateboarding and was always smiling.

“Our community and beyond rallied around Trent during his battle with cancer,” Crabill said. “This skatepark, named in his honor, will serve as a constant reminder of what a remarkable little boy he was and how much he meant to our community.”

The initial plan for the skatepark was and still is to serve as a safe place for children in the Strasburg community to ride and play.

“It’s illegal for skateboards and bikes to be used on the sidewalks or curbs in town,” Crabill said. “The dangerous alternative is for our children to ride their skateboards and bikes in the streets with traffic. That’s simply not acceptable.”

According to information gathered by Crabill for the grant application, there are over 1,600 students from grades k-12 that attend the northern campus  schools.

“As it stands, skaters are criminalized for simply enjoying their sport. For youth who don’t play sports but love to skate, this [park] would give our skaters a place to participate in an activity they enjoy,” Crabill said.

To date, over $70,000 has been raised toward the total amount of $120,000 needed to complete the park.

Crabill said fundraising efforts have been continuous by many community groups, individuals and organizations. The Strasburg Moose Lodge 403 has been the top contributor, followed by the Strasburg Police Department, St. Lutheran Church of Strasburg and American Legion Post 77.

Other small fundraising events have donated funds to the park project.

Michelle Bixler, the town’s economic development and marketing manager, confirmed that the town has donated an area of the town park for the memorial skatepark, and that when construction is completed the town will maintain it.

Construction is planned to start this summer. Crabill said the park will be built in phases while the community continues to raise funds.

She noted that this fall the Kiwanis Club of Strasburg will donate the proceeds from its pancake breakfast, which is one of its largest fundraisers, to the project.

“I helped raise three stepsons. I remember how upsetting it was for them that there was nothing really in regards to recreation here in the town of Strasburg,” Crabill said. “Even though they played sports, there was nothing in the town limits that kept them entertained or occupied. I see the same thing happening today. This skatepark will do more than just bring the community together. It will provide a safe and fun environment for our children to play. As a mom, that’s all any of us what for our children.”