Dennis DeMara: Park should be for all


Rita Valentine Park should be enjoyed by kids, too, and not just older people walking their dogs and leaving behind dog excrement.

In response to the front page story in the Steamboat Today (“City of Steamboat to revisit what types of recreation should be allowed in Rita Valentine Park,” May 7) regarding the bike jump built in Rita Valentine Park, I have a few comments:

First thing I would like to clarify is that the existing jump has been there for more than two years, with no complaints. Now, all of a sudden, it is an issue. Why?

Secondly, the city mentions “liability.” Give me a break. Rita Valentine Park Core Trail is an uneven surface, so what about the “liability” walking my dog and stepping into a divot and breaking my ankle? What about the “liability” of all the snow jumps that kids are building throughout the winter for their sleds and inner tubes? What about the “liability” of the ski ramp located on top of the hill near Anglers Court Subdivision? That ramp has been there since I moved to Steamboat in 2000. If “liability” is the concern, the city should post a sign indicating: “Enter city park at your own risk.” Or to avoid all “liability,” the city could close down all parks to the public. No walking, no sledding, no bikes, etc. Parks are only for viewing from a distance.

Lastly, would you rather have our children be “constructive” by designing, building, testing and working together to create something that they can use? Or would you rather they be “destructive” by painting buildings with graffiti, doing drugs or doing something they shouldn’t be doing? If authoritative figures always are stopping kids from doing something that is not posing a hazard to others, kids eventually will end up resenting authority and end up down a destructive path in life.

I really think taxpayer resources (i.e. police stopping by my house, city signs posted with “trail closed,” etc.) can be used for more concerning matters than this. We need to re-evaluate what we are doing to our kids by stopping them jumping their bikes. If you kick them off, they will find something else to do that may not be as constructive.

Rita Valentine Park is 40 acres and should be enjoyed by everyone, young and old. Why is a small bike jump (that has been there for two years) really an issue with so much other space (39.99 acres) available that can be enjoyed by the persons in question with the complaints?

Dennis DeMara

Steamboat Springs


John St Pierre 2 years, 11 months ago

I wish the pilot would do an article on how the park came to be and what Rita and her family wanted when they donated the land in the 1st place...... perhaps also what is on the deeds and the agreement w the town....

Alot of people have come and gone since its creation.... and many need to be made aware of its how it came to be.... including some city staff and elected officials.......


Thomss Steele 2 years, 11 months ago

I agree... Why is there no story from the Pilot about the issue at the park? Get out of the office folks and actually do some proactive journalism.


Cresean Sterne 2 years, 11 months ago

I agree with you that RVP should be enjoyed by all ages young and old. The space should be kept as close as possible to its natural surroundings. From what I understand is that when the land was gifted from Rita it was to be kept as an open space area for the community.

Like John mentioned above

"I wish the pilot would do an article on how the park came to be and what Rita and her family wanted when they donated the land in the 1st place...... perhaps also what is on the deeds and the agreement with the town"

It should be posted in the Today for all to see and then maybe there will be more understanding with this matter."

The bike jump (even though it may have been there for 2 yrs), should have been torn down then. It is not snow and does not melt and go away on its own. We have to teach by example and allowing anyone to think its ok to build something without permission on public property is IMO wrong. Yes there are other places where something was built that maybe shouldnt be but does that make it right to do it elsewhere. (Of course not)..I dont see a safety concern just a concern that some think its ok to do what they want without going through the propper channels. We have multiple bikeing areas in Stmbt and its only getting better. Kids need to be shown and educated of these locations. Maybe having them volunteer to help with the builds will teach them more responsibility and structure as they go through life

By no means was I innocent when I was young. I did many familiar things without permission. It Still didnt make it ok and it didnt teach me how to go through the propper channels correctly. Instead I learned the hard way having to repair or replace what was damaged or not allowed.


Palmer porteous 2 years, 11 months ago

So what ur saying is that kids shouldn't be active and do thing outside like ridding their bikes. Who cares about a jump, it only takes up 30yards down and a foot wide. And when u say that "by no means I was innocent when I was young" you are basically saying that a kid like me should be "not innocent" and do stupid things.


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