By Jose Herrera
Signal Staff Writer
The city of Santa Clarita announced a one-day closure of the Santa Clarita Skate Park Friday due to ongoing vandalism and graffiti in and around the area.
“We’ve had several graffiti and vandalism issues in and around (the park),” said Lance O’Keefe, recreational manager for the city. “There was spray paint, tagging in the park restrooms and in general disrespect to the site.”
According to city officials, this is the fifth incident of vandalism and graffiti over the last couple of months. However, city officials decided to close the park because this incident was “by far the worst.”
“While we clean up the issue, speak to the users and do our best to say, ‘Hey, come on, guys, we got to take care of this place,’ (by closing the park) it’s just to help get the message across that we need to take care of it and maintain it.”
O’Keefe said the last time the city had to close the park was about three years ago.
“I don’t want to have to close (the park). We don’t do it very often, and when we do it usually helps send a positive message of, ‘Let’s take care of our park and each other,’” O’Keefe said.
Children of all ages and adults use the park, according to city officials. Santa Clarita Valley residents are able to use scooters, skateboards and bikes.
“It’s an awesome place for people to come, practice their skills and enjoy. We’re very much pro-outdoor activity and we want people to get out there and enjoy it,” O’Keefe said.
According to the skate park website, the skate park is open 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and opens at 9 a.m. on holidays. However, the park may be closed by staff due to rain, park damage such as graffiti and vandalism, maintenance needs, unacceptable user behavior and a continual violation of the park rules and code of conduct.
“Please be respectful of others and public property so everyone can enjoy city amenities,” read a Tweet from the city announcing the closure.
City officials encourage residents to report any acts of vandalism or illegal activity to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at the non-emergency number at 661-260-4000.