Dog parks, skate parks, playgrounds make for public-private partnerships

One public-private partnership recently led to the creation of a fenced-in, off- leash dog park. Another proposed partnership may lead to the building of a skate board park at Leisure Square. Still to be determined is the question of whether dogs will be allowed to use the skate board park.
One public-private partnership recently led to the creation of a fenced-in, off-leash dog park. Another proposed partnership may lead to the building of a skate board park at Leisure Square. It has yet to be determined whether dogs will be allowed to use the skate board park.

MARK SCHUMANN

After negotiating a lease with the City, a private group, Friends of the Vero Beach Dog Park, transformed land just north of MacWilliam Park into a now popular fenced-in, off-lease dog park.

Another private group, GoPlayVero, recently raised $250,000 for renovations and new playground equipment at Humiston Park.

This week, GoPlayVero, and a new private group, the Vero Beach Skate Park Alliance, proposed additional public-private partnerships with the City that could lead to additional playground equipment for Riverside Park, and a skate park of up to 19,000 square feet to be built at Leisure Square.

Both groups presented their proposals Wednesday at a meeting of the Recreation Commission.

Eric Toomsoo, who heads the Vero Beach Lifeguard Association, told the Commission the Vero Beach Skate Park Alliance is prepared to raise up to $950,000 to build a skate park on one of two fields at Leisure Square previously used for football.

Toomsoo said that with its central location and infrastructure, including bathrooms, lighting and parking, Leisure Square is an ideal site for a skate park.

The City of Sebastian already has a popular skate park.

GoPlayVero is proposing to pay for a new play station with shade, climbing rocks and a new swing set.

Recreation Director, Rob Slezak, and City Manager Jim O’Connor said they support the projects, both of which will need approval by the City Council.

One comment

  1. When I first heard of the proposal for a VB skate park, I was not aware of how this would be done. It didn’t sound like a good idea – in view of liability and space needed. Did not realize Leisure Square had anything south of pool–silly ol’ me. Beginning to sound like a good idea if details can be worked out. The Dog Park and any upgrades to our city parks by this public/private arrangement has worked so far.

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