LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The David Armstrong Extreme Park is known as one of the best skate parks around the state.
However, many have been taking it for gr anted and leaving it worse than they have found it. One father and son duo describes what the park looks like on a daily basis.
Each time Luke Vazzana comes to skate with his father, he gets better. Not just at skating, but also at dodging and avoiding trash at the bottom of the skate bowl.
"Beer cans, cigarette butts and just dirt," he described.
Garbage is a part of a regular scene at Louisville's downtown skate park. For anyone who is on wheels, the garbage is more than just an eye sore.
"It can be bad because if you hit it, it gets under your wheel and it stops your wheel completely and you'll just spring forward and break your wrist or sprain your wrist," Everett Vazzana said.
The elder Vazzana describes how Luke once shot off his skateboard because his wheel was jammed from the debris.
The Vazzanas say many people actually take it upon themselves to clean up once in a while. Others skaters around the park confirmed this. One man said he carries a broom, a dustpan, plastic bags and a pair of trash tongs in his truck all the time.
"There are some guys who bring brooms and they sweep up. You almost have to do that if you're going to do any big tricks or do any high speeds," Everett Vazzana explained. "You have to get it clean before you do it because it's too dangerous."
The Vazzanas say it's a shame because they feel like the park is a great asset to the city despite its issues.
"It's just the biggest, it's the nicest, even with the debris, garbage and the housekeeping, it still is the best park," Vazzana said.
"If we go out of town, a lot of people will know about this park," Luke Vazzana added.
They say they hope people would respect it more. Everett Vazzana suggested that a few possible changes, and some new additions, might help the park.
"If there were more amenities, like the bathrooms being cleaned up, maybe a vending machine that would work and not get demolished," Vazzana said.
Currently, the park touts that it has a public restroom. However, Luke says he'll never going back there after having used it only once. He described it as dirty and dark, as there are no lights inside.
All they're looking for, along with other skaters and bikers, is some carefree riding.
The David Armstrong Extreme Park is maintained and owned by Metro Parks.
In response to the story, Metro Parks has released a statement, regarding the efforts that go into current maintenance as well as some of the challenges they are facing with elements they cannot control.
"We're thrilled that the Extreme Park sees such heavy use and is such a popular attraction. However, we do often have problems with vandalism and litter. We always ask that people visiting the park be respectful of the facility so residents and visitors of all ages can enjoy it safely.
The Louisville Extreme Park is one of 25 properties in the Joe Creason Park Maintenance District maintained by Metro Parks. We have an 8-person crew that works 7 days a week taking care of these properties. They cut grass, repair playground equipment, empty trash cans - pretty much anything that is required. Over the course of the previous two weeks, the crews have visited the park almost every day and have not been absent from maintenance duties for more than one day. They will clean the restrooms, empty the trash cans and get inside of the bowl and clean as long as they have the time and it's not too crowded. They have a lot of demands on their time and that's why vandalism is such a frustrating problem."
Metro Parks added that they are always looking for and welcoming volunteers to help clean up their parks, including the Extreme Park. For any complaints about the park, they recommend you call Metro Call 311 or 574-PARK.