As many 14-year-olds do, Stevenson Ranch resident Jack Maginn enjoys skating with his friends.
Although there are skate parks in Castaic and Santa Clarita, both are too far for the teens to walk to and they usually don’t have any means of getting there otherwise, so instead, they typically end up skating in the streets of Stevenson Ranch.
That’s why he and his friends came up with the idea of building a skate park at Dr. Richard Rioux Park, which has a large open space.
“We usually skate around that area, and it’s in the middle of the neighborhood,” Maginn said regarding the park. “So, we started a petition that same night.”
That Change.org petition detailed why a third skate park in the Santa Clarita Valley would be beneficial, addressing the overcrowding of the two current skate parks, as well as the safety of teens skating on busy streets and in traffic.
In just two days, the petition grew to 500 signatures, which gave Maginn the idea to take it a step further in contacting government leaders. Eventually, he was put in contact with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, which handles these types of requests.
“His Change.org petition really impressed a lot of us here at our agencies with the fact that it has so many supporters,” said Chester Kano, principal facilities project manager from L.A. County Parks Planning and Development Agency. “It’s great to get this from such a young person, and it shows how a lot of young people know how to get some things done.”
Now, they’re conducting a preliminary feasibility study, which will assess the park and its needs specifically, as well as identify funding possibilities before going to the Board of Supervisors for approval, which just last week approved funding to improve Richard Rioux Park.
Though the process takes approximately six months, Maginn remains hopeful. “At this point, I’m keeping people updated (via social media), making the city more aware and keeping the message out about the park and idea, so it doesn’t die out,” he said.
Still, this is farther than Maginn expected to get.
“I thought it would get to 100 (signatures), then all of a sudden it started growing rapidly,” Maginn said. “I didn’t think it would be possible to get 1,000, and now we’re at more than 2,000 last time I checked. The feedback has been amazing, too. The community is definitely getting involved in it and so many people are with the idea.”
His mother Candice Maginn is extremely proud of her son for doing it all on his own.
“It seems to be gaining some momentum and has got a lot of buzz,” Candice said. “For him, that’s a really cool thing.”
Once completed, Kano plans to share the results of the study with Maginn.
“I want to let him see what’s in the report, so he can try to understand how a park like this comes about and how much it costs,” Kano said.
To view the petition, visit chng.it/zYsmqGGbyB.