For many years we have supervised our skate park with paid staff. Due to budget reductions we were forced to reduce our hours of operation from 7 days per week to now being open only on weekends. I would like to try operating without supervision, however our town manager has indicated that our liability insurance will not cover the skate park without supervision. We operate two beaches without lifeguards by simply posting the beach with "Swim at your own risk no life guard on duty" signage. Knowing that the vast majority of municipal skate parks are not supervised, I am confused as to why the skate park is considered a greater risk than our beaches. For those of you who operate skate parks without supervision, I am very curious about how the liability insurance for your skate park is provided. Is your skate park simply covered along with all your other facilities? Is your skate park covered by a third party carrier by a policy specific to the skate park?
There is an increasing public desire to have the skate park operate without supervision and any feedback that you may have would be much appreciated.
Vint Choiniere, Director
Meredith Parks and Recreation Dept.
We used to staff our skateboard park here in Merrimack and funding was cut 2 years ago and so now it basically functions like any other park - open dawn to dusk and its a use at your own risk facility. We had many appreciative parents when we did this since it greatly expanded the hours it was available for you. In 2 years we haven't had any issues with vandalism.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Matt Casparius, CPRE
Director of Parks & Recreation
Town of Merrimack,
Our skate park has always been unsupervised. It is covered by our town's insurance and is treated like any other unsupervised recreational area (tennis court, playgrounds, etc.). We have not had any issues in the 11 years we have had it.
Our skate park has been open for about 8 years. We have not had supervision dedicated to the skate park, but do have a park attendant that helps to ensure things never get out of hand when he is on duty. We have had little issues with tagging and trash, but no major issues. I have talked to the skaters a few times and pointed out it is their park and they should take care of it. Once you give them that ownership, they seem to take it serious and help monitor the place.
Let me know if you have any questions.
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