The city of Portage wants to create a new place for kids to play, but it needs to the community's help. While the designs have mostly been finalized for a family skate park, the construction can't start until the money comes in.
The $210,000 project has been in the works for more than 20 years. Now, thanks to amateur pro skate boarder Kyle Little's enthusiasm and commitment, the Portage Family Skate Park may finally become a reality.
"I'm ecstatic," Little said. "You know, I wake up every day with a bigger smile on my face, and I say this is happening."
Over the next couple years, the green space between Dewitt St. and McFarlane Road will be transformed into what the city calls a central hub for family activities.
"We're getting a splash pad here, skate park, concessions stand, bathrooms," Little said.
"Grandpa can come down with the grand kids and play in the water park," said Portage Parks and Recreation Dept. director Tim Raimer. "The little kids like watching the bigger kids on the skate board park. You can go from age one to age 95 and be entertained out here."
The Parks and Rec. Dept., along with the Portage Kiwanis Club is partnering with Little to build support and encourage people to donate to the cause.
"The faster we receive donations, the faster the project is completed," said Portage Kiwanis president Margaret Rudolph.
Although some are opposed to a kid-friendly zone near traffic, the plans include fences along both sides, and Little says ultimately the park will help keep children out of the streets.
"You look around the city of Portage, and you'll see skate boarders as young as four years old with their families," Little said. "People are starting to recognize that it's not just a solo sport anymore, but more and more families are getting involved. And if you go to our downtown area, you'll see a lot of individuals skate boarding. We want to be able to put them into a safe place and now is the time to do it."
If you'd like to donate, send donations to the Portage Kiwanis Club:
Prairie Flower Beads LLC
Re: Skate Park
210 West Cook Street
Portage, WI 53901