Sonnier steps up to fund the future
Beyond the end of August, the future of the Idyllwild Skate Park is uncertain, but it will be open each weekend this month, thanks to a donation from Idyllwild Pines Camp (IPC). While Idyllwild Community Recreation Council Acting Chair (ICRC) Dawn Sonnier was hoping to get financial support from Riverside County to keep the park open, that door seems closed for now.
On Thursday, Aug. 18, Ted Ewing, IPC program and curriculum director, shared the IPC decision to make a donation that would cover the pay for staff for the two weekends through the end of August. The park is located on Idyllwild Pines property.
Originally set to close mid August, the IPC $500 donation allows the park to remain open from noon to 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 19, 20, 21 and Aug. 26, 27 and 28.
The overall future of the skate park remains unclear, primarily for reasons of cost. As reflected in financial records of ICRC and the county, the park has been a consistent money-loser for its years of operation, loosing between $9,000 and $13,000 annually. Former Recreation Director Bob Lewis had requested between $5,000 to $6,000 to replace ramps at the skate park.
In an Aug. 18 email to Sonnier and Idyllwild Pines Camp, Bill Brown, Riverside County CSA manager, said, “For now Riverside County will not be a partner in the Skate Park. The new Idyllwild Recreation District is working hard to put together programs and activities for the entire community. As we re-shape the recreation budget we must use our precious dollars for programs that affect the maximum number of residents. … We thank the community for their tremendous support these first three weeks and we promise to focus our efforts on community-wide recreation.”