By Allison Jarrell

Local nonprofit Great Opportunities is continuing its effort to assist the youth of San Juan Capistrano in getting a skatepark built. After some initial planning and discussion in the city’s Youth Advisory Board and the Parks, Recreation & Senior Services Commission, the group’s first official meeting was held Feb. 11 at the Mission Grill.

Those in attendance, including Great Opportunities co-founders Eric and David Groos, Councilwoman Kerry Ferguson, Commissioner Gerry Muir and a group of passionate skateboarders and community members, discussed the design of the park and their budget.

In December, the San Juan Capistrano Parks, Recreation & Senior Services Commission unanimously approved El Camino Real Park as the preferred location for a skate-friendly development. The location is accessible and has ample parking, bus stops and pre-existing bathrooms.

In order to appease walkers, bikers and skaters, Eric Groos said the idea for the skate-friendly zone may need to be scaled back into a more transitional space, with skateable benches, rails and low ramps that allow for a variety of uses. At this point, the design and location are still tentative as the group begins setting priorities and raising funds.

The San Juan skatepark idea stems from discussions held in October and November of 2014 that centered on youth and community leaders from Dana Point and San Juan seeking to launch a skatepark in the area.

The next skatepark meeting will take place March 11 at 5 p.m. at the Mission Grill. Designing T-shirts and fundraising will be the main topics of discussion. To learn more about the movement, follow Great Opportunities on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GreatOpportunities.

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