Ogden Valley citizens rally for skate park at parks plan open house
Oct 5, 2023, 10:02 PM | Updated: Oct 6, 2023, 6:07 am
EDEN, Weber County — Ogden Valley community members filled an open house meeting Thursday night, voicing opinions over a new master plan for a park in the town of Liberty.
Chatter and ideas floated around the community room at Eden Park, as people looked at four large display boards that featured plans and pictures showing the future of Liberty Park three miles away.
Many said there is one thing they want to see, that is nowhere to be found in the plan.
“It didn’t feature a skate park, and that was really concerning to me,” said Ogden Valley resident Marshall McGonegal.
He explained that right now, families have to drive over the mountains to the North Ogden Skate Park.
“It’s something that we’ve wanted for years,” McGonegal said. “Skateboarding is highly inclusive. It’s a very affordable barrier to entry, whether it’s a skateboard, or a scooter, or roller blades.”
He started a petition that already has more than 500 signatures agreeing with him, and McGonegal rallied people to show up to Thursday’s open house hosted by the Ogden Valley Parks Service Area to fill out comment forms asking for a skate park.
Currently, the park master plan includes soccer fields, pickleball and basketball courts, a pavilion, a playground, a riding arena, and a dirt pump track.
Ogden Valley Parks Service Area chairman Mark Ferrin said he wanted to hear everyone’s input.
But he also explained that the board has to figure out money, and timing.
“It’s a question of the priority. If we try and get everything in that piece of real estate, what goes first?” Ferrin said. “It’s about an $11 million build-out, and it takes a long time to generate that money from the few taxpayers we have in the neighborhood.”
Ferrin said that last year, they sent out a survey asking for opinions that about 2,000 people filled out. From there, landscape architects drew up a plan, he said.
Now that the master plan has been created, the parks board is getting feedback.
“We prioritize what and when and if,” Ferrin said. “If the skate park group wins out, I hope they get it built soon. We just don’t have enough money to do much of anything to start out, because we still have to maintain the existing lawns and structures and it’s going to take a while.”
Ferrin estimated it could take a decade to bring the master plan to life.
McGonegal’s suggestion is to utilize the dirt pump track space for the skate park.
“What we’ve proposed for them with the local contractor is to do a mixture,” he said. “It’s a skate park with a concrete pump track. The benefits of that, is you get the skatepark, you also get the pump track.”
He said he’s received about $15,000 in unofficial pledges for funding of a new skate park. McGonegal is hoping that the feedback given Thursday and his petition make a difference.
“Whether you’re in favor of the skate park or not, it’s just great to have public input here,” he said, of the crowded open house. “I’m just glad to have people here.”