The new in East Haddam brings not only excitement, but also raises some concerns. We spoke with Tiffany Quinn, Director of East Haddam Parks and Recreation to find out the answers to questions our readers posted on Patch, commented on our Facebook Page and asked me in-person. Here's what she had to say:
What is the town's liability if someone gets hurt at the skate park? The public will be using the park at your own risk. There will be signs that remind people of the rules and safety requirements to prevent injuries, as well as the risks inherent in the use of the park, but all of the risks taken are their own responsibility.
Who is responsible for monitoring the use of the skate park? The park will not be monitored on a “schedule” basis. The park will be open from 8 a.m.-sunset. The police will be asked to patrol the area and the public is encouraged to report any problems directly to the police.
The public is also encouraged to call the East Haddam Park and Recreation Department with any problems, concerns or damage to the park.
How will it be monitored to ensure kids will not be hanging out and doing drugs or drinking? It will not be monitored. This is a substance free park, and any substance use will not be tolerated. The public is encouraged to contact the police if they experience anyone violation of this policy.
As for the kids hanging out, that is exactly what we are looking for. The park is designed to be a place for kids to hang out and participate in an activity that is enjoyable to them. In my opinion, that would prove that the park is successful
Unfortunately, kids that ride their bikes and skateboard often get a bad reputation for “hanging out”. Studies have shown that the kids that use the parks are less likely to vandalize or use illegal substances because they take ownership and pride in their park. They love the sport, and do not want to jeopardize their use of the park. If problems arise, the Recreation Commission will handle them on a case-by-case basis.
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
Will it be open certain hours? The park will be open from 8 a.m. to sunset, weather permitting.
Will bikers be allowed as well? Yes, bikers will be allowed as well. The original design was to include bikes and skateboards. We are confident that the users of the park are capable of co-existing and respecting each other. It is a small park, so space may dictate what occurs, and what they can do, but the kids that use the park are very knowledgeable in how to self-monitor and share spaces with each other.
If you have any concerns on the project, please contact Tiffany Quinn, East Haddam Parks & Recreation (873-5058) or Toni McCabe, East Haddam Youth & Family Services (873-3296).