Ogden’s sole skate park closed due to vandalism

Posted at 9:43 PM, Apr 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-11 23:43:54-04

OGDEN, Utah -- Vandalism and graffiti have once again led to the shutdown of Ogden’s only skate park.

On Monday, the gate to Lorin Farr Skate Park was locked and “no trespassing” signs were posted. While the park has been tagged in the past, some worry the gate has locked for good as a reopen date has not been set.

“It’s kind of frustrating,” said Ogden resident Brian Walker. “I think it would hurt a lot of kids and a lot of adults like myself new generation of kids who would be without.”

Walker, a local high school teacher, has been skating at Lorin Farr Skate Park since the gate first opened 15 years ago.

“Now I bring my kids down I have daughters that like to skate,” Walker said.

The repeated vandalism and graffiti over the past few months forced the city to lock the gate to the park.

“We had to go and clean up some significant graffiti that was offensive, vulgar -- there was broken glass and a whole bunch of problems down there,” said Perry Huffaker, Public Ways and Parks Manager for Ogden City.

The cleanup has cost the city a lot of money and manpower. The park was originally closed for maintenance, but weeks later the gate is still locked.

“We put a chain around it and a padlock and we’re trying to get our heads around why people do the things they did,” Huffaker said.

Surveillance cameras have been installed. But the public believes closing the park is a bad move by the city.

“I don’t understand why they keep on closing it down,” said Jesse of Ogden. “They say it’s because of vandalism and kids spray painting but if anywhere is to be spray painted it ought to be a skate park to keep tags from buildings.”

The city says they can't afford to keep up with vandals.

“We’re trying to do the best we can with the resources we have,” said Hufftaker. “We don’t have a lot of resources to continue to clean up people’s messes.”

City officials say unless things get extreme they won't close it for good. Some suggest they follow what other cities do and have people volunteers clean it up with donated materials.

“It’s kind of a clique - one person can ruin it for everyone,” Walker said.