My 9-year-old son freaked out when I told him the Rochester Parks and Recreation Department wanted to know what he thought about the updates they are planning at the Silver Lake Skate Park. The public is invited to share their opinion on the planned additions which could include a pool, flow bowl, and snake run course.

My son loves skateboarding so we frequently visit the skate park and over the last few years, we've met some nice people. The city's request for feedback on the upgrades reminded me of one not-so-nice couple we encountered last fall.

KROC-AM logo
Get our free mobile app

We had just arrived at the Silver Lake Skate Park, and as I was unloading my son's skateboard from the back of our SUV, I overheard an older couple passing by. The woman mentioned that the park was filled with "potheads and punks."

Now, to get to the skatepark from the road, you have to walk around a hundred yards. It seemed like these people were making judgments from a distance based on the park's appearance and stereotypes.


There is graffiti - gasp!  And, maybe some skaters smoke pot, but I've never witnessed any drug use. My experiences with my son at the park have been overwhelmingly positive.

I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to all those "potheads and punks" because they've created a positive environment for my little boy to learn and have fun.

The skateboarding community is amazing. I've sat there, observing people of all ages and skill levels taking turns on the various obstacles. Everyone is so encouraging, cheering on new skaters as they try out tricks and applauding each other's success. I've seen teenagers and adults stop to show my 9-year-old some moves and even take the time to fix his skateboard. It's a supportive and tight-knit community that goes beyond any stereotypes.

I know the skate park might not be everyone's thing, but I can tell you it's a safe and supportive place. I'm genuinely excited about the improvements they're planning. You can share your feedback with the Parks and Rec Department here.

Over 25 Rochester, Minnesota Businesses and Restaurants That Closed in 2023

2023 was another year of final goodbyes for several businesses and restaurants in Rochester, Minnesota.

Gallery Credit: Jessica On The Radio

More From KROC-AM