Janesville79°

Elbow grease helps build Edgerton’s new skatepark

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Catherine W. Idzerda
June 1, 2008
— Lou Larson doesn’t look much like Tony Hawk, but he’s got skateboard magic in his soul.

Well, let’s hope he has skateboarding magic—because if he doesn’t, he’s going to end up with a very unmagical broken hip.


Larson, 65, was one of the many skateboarding fans who turned out Saturday to see the beginning of Edgerton’s new skatepark in Central Park.


Volunteers, donors, parents, skateboarders and their friends watched workers pour the concrete slab that will serve as the base for future ramps, half-pipes and rails.


Many of the adults worked in construction trades and either had kids involved in the project or just wanted to help. They represented six area contract and construction businesses, and all of them volunteered their time.


Although the adults were on the job Saturday, it was local kids who got the project started.


Grant Mahr, 13, has been involved with the skatepark project since it began with a petition at the elementary school more than two years ago. Those two years have involved lots of fund raising, visits to the city council and hard work.


Mahr and his brother, Gavin—and too many other young people to name here—held car washes, sold bottled water, set up hot dog stands at city events and solicited donations for the park. They raised $10,000, and the city matched those funds.


“A lot of parks have actual street stuff like stairs, rails or a picnic table—that’s becoming a lot more popular now,” Mahr said.


Mahr prefers the traditional elements, such as half-pipes and ramps.


He’s also a traditionalist when it comes to materials.


“Metal is too loud; cement really hurts when you fall,” Mahr said. “I like wood; it’s smoother.”


Larson, the 65-year-old who last skateboarded in the late 1950s, probably would prefer something smoother, too. That means a softer fall.


He’s outfitting a board for a test run on the slab.


“I’m going to go out there about midnight with a flashlight strapped to my head,” Larson said. “If I fall down, the kids can just roll me out of the way the next morning.”



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