GOLD HILL, Ore. — Emotional Gold Hill residents prepare for the opening of a new skateboarding park, a memorial to a resident Tom Fish, who died four years ago.
“It really is amazing to me,” remarked Jan Fish, Tom’s mother.
The journey started in 2009. Tom had always wanted in skate park in Gold Hill. After his death, his parents, Jan and Peter, decided to make it happen. One by one, the community stepped up and so did the state, with roughly $130,000 in grants.
“That meant everything,” said Jan. “I mean that’s the best thing that’s happened to me in four years is that state grant. And then this of course, the completed project.”
The park is being built in two phases. Friday, city council representatives, skaters, and community members meet to go over last-minute concerns on phase one. The second half comes later, but the park is already earning praise.
“From the feedback I’ve gotten just from my son and his skater friends, it’s probably gonna be one of the best skate parks in Southern Oregon,” said family member Jon Bowman.
For the city, the park isn’t just a gesture of support, it’s also an attraction and, some say, an achievement.
“Not only a wonderful accomplishment and a great place for kids to come play, it’s also something that we got without any burden on the taxpayers and the citizens of Gold Hill,” said City Councilor Lorraine Parks.
For Jan Fish, there is still a long way to go. But standing on the freshly-poured concrete, she says she is already moved.
“I just know my son will be happy…and that means everything,” Jan said. She began crying as she was overcome with emotion.
The park’s opening is tentatively set to open for skateboarders on April 2nd. Jan and Peter Fish are now starting fundraising for the second phase of the project, which will roughly double the size of the park.