The current skate park in Clintonville is named after Gordy Noren, the driving force behind getting the park built in the late 1990s.
“He was the main instigator,” said Polly Goodell, Noren’s daughter.
Unfortunately, the skate park is no longer in use. There is no equipment at the park, and weeds have overtaken the park where cracks appear in the asphalt.
Goodell wants to change that, partly in memory of her father, who passed away on July 21.
She said her father was always a positive person, and that getting the skate park built was a dream of his, but it was also a struggle.
“He wanted to do something for this community when he moved here,” Goodell said.
According to an article in the Sept. 28, 2000 edition of the Tribune-Gazette Noren didn’t know what a skate park was until someone in the community told him the city should have a skate park. Noren was shown a copy of a drawing of a ramp that would be at a skate park. He converted the plan from inches to feet and began building the ramp in his garage with donated materials from the Lions Club.
The first two years the skate park was located in the municipal parking lot across from Olen Field, next to the river. According to the article, after continued problems with garbage in the river, the city council addressed the issue of responsibility, and whether the city should have any affiliation with the park.
The city eventually provided a fenced-in location on the paved portion of the Old Armory parking lot. Other than that, though, the park belonged to and was to be overseen by the users of the park.
Goodell said the skate park received heavy use in its heyday. She also said he father was very proud of the skate park.
The equipment eventually wore out and was taken out of the park and not replaced, until there was no equipment left.
To help bring the skate park back, Goodell is donating the memorial money she has received in your father’s memory, to the city. This money is earmarked for a new skate park that would include modern ramps and equipment. So far she has donated $1,470 in memorial money toward the skate park.
If the city decides not to get behind bringing the skate park back, Goodell said she will designated the donated money for a different use.
“I wanted them to be abundantly clear that if they don’t go forward with this I want that memorial money back. I’m going to do something else with that for the community,” Goodell said.
She also said if nothing is done, she wants her father’s name taken off the current skate park location. The skate park was named after to Noren on June 29, 2010.
“Would you want your name hanging on something that looked like that? That’s embarrassing,” Goodell said.
Getting the skate park back up and running means a lot to Goodell.
“My dad was such a positive person and did so much that if I could just do a little something I would be proud,” Goodell said. “I didn’t realize until I had gone through all of this stuff what a good person he is and how much he had done for this community.”