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12-year-old's petition gaining momentum, pushing for city of Avon to cover its outdoor skatepark

avon skatepark
avon skatepark
Posted at 7:16 AM, Jan 20, 2021

AVON, Ohio — One Avon boy’s wish for the city to cover its outdoor skatepark, in order to give kids like him access year-round, may come true with more than 800 resident signatures backing him up.

Twelve-year-old Teal Caress spends most of his time at Avon’s Little League Park.

“I love BMX, snowboarding,” Teal said. “I can just ride around here all day and I won’t get bored.”

He met new friends there.

“They were up here riding their scooters and I came up here and we just met and we just started to talk and they basically grabbed me into their friend group.”

The park is also where Teal and his stepdad, Adam Mastone, get to bond.

“I can pass down the knowledge that I have to him so it’s fun,” said Mastone. “This is what kids should be doing being kids.”

Teal’s bike and the tricks he practices at the park are what helps him cope with remote learning and our new way of living.

But this winter, Teal hasn’t been able to come here much or see his friends.

“There’s big patches of ice. When you ride on this your tires get wet and then the ramps get wet and you start to slide and when it’s raining it’s no fun,” he explained.

Mastone says he and Teal’s mother were concerned about his safety and eventually he came up with an idea.

“We were just sitting around one night at dinner and I said hey man you should talk to the city or start a petition about getting a skate park cover; give the kids something to and make utilization of it since it’s there and get the kids away from their electronics all winter long, which I think is a big problem right now.”

Though he admits he was nervous, Teal started the petition, which is posted online, and gained support from hundreds of people.

“Once people started signing it, I felt more comfortable and I felt more confident about it,” he said. “I hope that like once enough people sign it and then we can bring it to Mayor Jenson and Avon parks and rec.”

We reached out to Avon Mayor Bryan Jenson. He met up with us at the skatepark Teal has grown to love. He told us he hasn’t seen the petition, but he has heard all about teal and his mission.

“You appreciate that someone cares, that someone wants to utilize it more and we talk about all the time we want to get our kids and with COVID-19, especially,” Jenson said.

Jenson says the skatepark has been around for years and there’s been past discussions about what to do with it and prioritizing its needs along with community complaints.

“The biggest thing is cost. When you look at something like that to cover it up and you say well if you have to cover is that enough or do you need to enclose it?”

He says the city is already budgeting a paint job and some other items. When we showed him those ice patches, he told us he’d have crews take care of them. As for the skatepark cover, he says he’s waiting to brainstorm with Teal.

“I think it tells you a lot about the schools. When I was growing up we always kept quiet and we always stayed in the background and I think our schools are doing a great job of teaching kindness and also saying hey, you have a voice. Get your voice out in the community and start talking to people,” Jenson said.