I've lived here in Greene Since 1986. Seems like yesterday I use to ride my bike up to Scott's Delight in Waynesburg for an order of fries and a milkshake.
The one thing I remember complaining about as a kid was THERE IS NOTHING TO DO IN WAYNESBURG. Today as a parent. I STILL HEAR THE SAME COMPLAINTS.
Back then 10 mile had decent small mouth bass fishing, The college use to allow anyone to play basketball in the older part of the what is now called the Rudy Marisa Gym.
Those days are long gone. Yet one issue within Waynesburg still remains.
THERE IS STILL NOTHING FOR KIDS TO DO. That is a) FREE OF CHARGE TO PARTICIPATE. b) Not regulated by the state. c) Low cost to tax payer.
Youth around Greene County do not have a lot of choices these days. Most either: Play scholastic sports. Stay home and play xbox or pc. Get involved with things like Boy/Girl Scouts or 4H.
But those choices are in decline. Not because lack of youth, But because of lack of Interest.
WE LIVE IN A DIFFERENT TIME. Today's youth especially ages from 7+ are looking for things that KEEP THEIR ATTENTION. Most Importantly INSTANT GRATIFICATION.
Action sports can fit the mold for many. But again there is nothing around here for 30+ miles in ANY direction to suit the needs of kids of all ages.
Waynesburg built the skate park yet forgot ONE MAJOR ISSUE. PROGRESSION. NO ONE with a sound mind and understanding of any sport should put a small child on a 6ft metal half pipe. It's sadly a recipe for injury.
The design of the park from my 30+ years of experience is incomplete. The concrete pad was poured decently. Yet should have been bigger and finished better.
The ramps themselves are for youth with some riding or skating skills beforehand . (Hard to learn when you get tickets from law enforcement for riding on the sidewalks ) This is Not for a beginner riders & skaters.
There is no small,medium,large so there is no room for progression. It's go and hope for the best.
Riding dirt is a much different. It's low cost. Dirt is everywhere. Jumps and all obstacles can be made to fit all shapes and sizes of riders.
Most Parents around here if any understand that PA is the Mecca of BMX.
People from ALL OVER THE WORLD come to PA to ride bmx trails. Maybe because the blue collar kids of PA build the best dirt jumps in the U.S and at one time put more kids into the X-Games then any other state or country IN THE WORLD.
People like Kris Bennett,Isaac "ground chuck" Mcrea,Brandon "Punjab" Pundai, Chris Doyle,Mark Mulville and many others. Who have dominated BMX dirt jumping for DECADES.
We are losing our youth to Drugs and Alcohol due to a few factors:
1) Pure boredom. ( Nothing to do leads to built up Anxiety,Depression etc ) 2) Kids hanging around with the wrong crowds.
UNDERSTAND that not all kids want to be the captain of the football or baseball team. Not all kids want to be a cheer leader or volleyball player.
Some kids just want something POSITIVE to do with their time where they won't be bothered by peer pressure or where there is no right or wrong way.
Action sports especially BMX is in the eyes of many an ART. There is no wrong way. You don't have to be a freestyle rider. Just come learn to get through the course. learn to flow and just enjoy yourself. Most will be glad to just have someone else to ride with.
FACT FOR TAXPAYERS & PARENTS.
I was talking with local candidates for Public office. We began to have a conversation on the local drug problem in Greene.
For a child to enter drug rehab for the 1st time ( which rarely works ) cost the tax payer or insurance 250k per child. Repeat offenders try 500k+ and sadly there is no guarantee it will work for anyone.
Say 200 kids within the entire county are looking for drug rehab. THAT = $50,000,000
You just rebuilt M.B.M and helped pay for comcast / xfinity to provide high speed internet to places like Brave and out in West Greene.
A dirt park is a new idea. We keep building ball fields and thats a good thing as long as you have kids to fill them. But what about the kids who don't care for team sports?
BMX / MTB require a few things kids have lost these days. Dedication,Loyalty,Perseverance,Integrity, and last but not least WORK ETHIC.
Support RideGreene. What we have been doing ISN'T WORKING. Give kids something to do after school when homework and chores are done!