Skatepark and Food Trucks: The Perfect Match? by Rob Witt

Skatepark Plan Gaining Momentum – Studer Community Institute
April 6, 2015
Jon Shell – Founder of Upward Intuition – News Radio 1620
April 15, 2015

Having lived in Pensacola for the last 20 years, I can say that there’s been many changes. The Pensacola I see and live in every day is a vastly different Pensacola than 20 years ago. As a city, we have grown in every way imaginable. We have more people, more businesses, our schools and universities are growing, we have more options and more opportunities for our citizens, our local businesses and entrepreneurs than I can ever recall having before.

But as we grow, it is important that we present that growth in the form of options. Options for our fellow citizens can come in many ways. I feel the promoting and development of having two widely accepted ideas that have sparked much interest finally take shape and make its way to the forefront of great ideas to help our community: Skate Boarding and Food Trucks.

As I look around Pensacola, there are two things I do not see. Skate Boarding and Food Trucks.

Skateboarding is frowned upon in the City of Pensacola. Not that is should be, but as with many things, if it’s never given a chance to succeed, it will never be missed. Skateboarding, an increasingly popular sport and recreation that promotes positive attitudes, healthy exercise, good morals and ethics among those fortunate to participate in it… is frowned upon in our great city. This pains me to say it, but if you take options and opportunities away from our youth you are inevitably taking options and opportunities away from them as young adults and adults as well.
Creating a safe, fun environment for them to enjoy a very popular activity like skateboarding would help better our youth and put them on a path that most would deem a positive direction. Simply saying no while giving limited other options only limits the potential of our youth. A multi use skate park can help to change that.

Food trucks have become a hot topic as of the last few years within the City of Pensacola. The idea of food trucks has become widely accepted and embraced, yet due to the neglect of some and some ignorance of others, food trucks have remained just an idea or a concept. Pensacola is past due for a variety of options when it comes to food trucks. It is time for Pensacola to enjoy the benefits of what food trucks could bring to the area. It would help bring a wide range of culinary options and experiences at a good price. It creates the option of not being confined to a booth in the corner of a restaurant waiting on service when you only have 30 minutes for lunch. It offers mobility, the ability to grab great food and head to one the city’s great parks or out to the beach with a cooler in tow. It allows us to start supporting local entrepreneurs investing their time and money in reaching their dreams of serving others and becoming successful at it. It will also help to create jobs and other opportunities to give back to the community.

I would love to see the community be able to enjoy both. There are dozens of amazing multi use parks around our country, and Pensacola is in a unique position that not all cities are in: We Can Build This! We aren’t limited by many of the other things that would normally restrict the building of such a multi use park. We are blessed with amazing citizens who constantly give back to this city, with talented and experienced individuals that are willing to put others first and themselves second and who are always willing to put their sweat and tears into something that will benefit Pensacola. Investing in a beautiful, multi use park benefits all. The ability to enjoy our parks with a variety of festivals and events is what helps to bring us together as a community. Through charitable events and festivals, we have accomplished many good things that benefit so many organizations. We also help support local businesses with these events while benefiting all those who show up with their family and friends to enjoy them.

We have a beautiful city that should be enjoyed and benefited by those who live here and give others great reason to want to enjoy it as well! It’s time for those responsible for doing so to work with the will and desires of those who proudly call Pensacola home! We have waited long enough!

Author: Rob Whitt