Stevensville's New Skate Park Has Everyone Excited - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Stevensville's New Skate Park Has Everyone Excited

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The skateboarders in Stevensville had wanted their own skate park for sometime.
"Somewhere that we could skate and not get kicked out.  Somewhere we could ride park and not have to drive out all the way to Missoula, and something we can call our own," says Stevensville Skate Park Committee Member Tyler Brubaker.
Building skate parks in rural Montana towns is nothing new, and the Montana Skate Park Association says it's something that always adds to a town.
"They really serve a great need, giving these kids an alternative to your regular team sports.  It's a fun place to go, and you can be creative and athletic," says Montana Skate Park Association President Chris Bacon
Raymond Smith was at the fore-front of the project, and developing the new park was something he envisioned when he moved to town.
"To me it's always been about the kids.  Our youth is our future, and this is another form of recreation, form of exercise, it gets them off the video games, and look at the back drop, how can you not enjoy it?" says the Co-Chair of the Stevensville Skate Park, Smith.
"There's nothing like it around here. Yet, there is a demand, so we want to make sure the kids around here have the opportunity and availability of a wonderful park like this, and I think it's proven it's worth because it's being used a lot," says Stevensville Living Center Administrator Michael Wemple.
The community came together in a big way, with donations of 50,000 dollars or more from Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam, and Bill Watkins, the skate park has given people young and old a chance to do something fun and challenging, just a short walk from their homes.
"You don't have to be the best.  You just go out, have fun, and you push yourself in your own way, and find things that are fun for you to do.  All the while you're outside, building your own self confidence and self esteem, and you're staying active," says Bacon.
The skaters themselves take pride in the venue, by making sure it's well-maintained, and they even volunteered to help with various odd jobs around Stevensville to help donate money back to the park.
"It helped to get them into the community, to get the community to see they are just normal kids like everyone else," says Smith.
"I was surprised about how well my friends and I were on it. Often times you think of skater kids, they don't care and will let it get graffiti on it, but we pick up the trash, make sure the little kids pick up after themselves, and we try to keep it beautiful.  It's a beautiful place and we love it," adds Stevensville Skater Dustin Bays.

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