Albert Lea ought to celebrate parksPublished 12:08pm Thursday, October 24, 2013
Parks serve many people. In every neighborhood there is a park. The facilities vary from place to place; for picnics and reunions, team and individual sports, nature walks, lakeside trails, play equipment for children and benches for seniors. Our parks department does great work for us. It can’t be easy. All require maintenance in appropriate seasons. Nearby county and state parks are wonderful — if we have access to an auto or bicycle. Parks in Albert Lea and Freeborn County are for all of us, from a simple pad and basketball hoop to multiple softball fields. Usage of our parks is a privilege. People travel hundreds, even thousands of miles to enjoy golf, fishing, canoeing and spectator sports. We have most of these things right here. The beauty of our city and county is real. Who needs our parks most of all?
Those who cannot easily travel out of the area or who do not have the means to pay registration fees, purchase equipment or travel.
Former semi-pro baseball player for Albert Lea, retired Postmaster Stan Sevaldson, recognized that skateboard kids needed to be off the sidewalks and enjoy an honest-to-goodness park with challenging ramps and rails. He was tireless until one was started.
He said, “They are good kids, I want them to be safe.” Now is the time to encourage ’boarders to host an intercity meet, with pride and buy-in to a difficult sport that was once scorned.
The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the Albert Lea City Council are right to seek input on issues of park use, abuse and park enhancement. They need to hear from all who love our excellent parks.