Like any other good dad Mark Hertenstein wants to find fun activities for his kids close to home. He'd like to get the community interested in bringing a skateboard park to Valley Center.
Hertenstein is a 37-year-old a stay-at-home-dad. "I'm a dad. I drive my kids all over. I'm always driving their friends around. I have five or six kids. I love raising my boys. I love being around them and doing stuff with them. I like checking out the local skateboard parks," he says.
He admits that there are plenty of team activities for kids in Valley Center, but adds, "The things for kids that we do have are organized and they are always seasonal. We need a place where kids could come together during the off season."
He grew up in Valley Center. "It could be pretty boring. There is not much to do in Valley Center if you don't play organized sports. If I didn't have motorcycles I would have been really bored!" For kids who aren't into team sports, but who enjoy physical activities, skateboarding can be the answer.
"Skateboarders can be loners," says Hertenstein. "We need to accept them into society." The nearest skateboard park is in Pala, which is 25 miles away. He envisions a skateboard facility in the heart of VC where parents can take their kids or the kids can walk or ride there. It would be natural to combine such a facility with a BMX jump ramp.
"One reason I want to get a skateboard facility is that the schools are constantly kicking skateboarders off the parking lots. You can't really ride motorcycles in Valley Center without the Sheriff's deputies getting you. We need a place where the kids don't get in trouble skating. A place to gather and socialize after school," says Hertenstein.
"When kids are bored they are going to get into trouble." For those who say that a skateboard park will cost a lot of money, he has an answer. "It literally takes no water or much maintenance. Even with a BMX jumps the kids can keep them clean. Which also keeps them out of trouble!"
In a recent trip to Maui he took his kids to a place called the Pa'ia Youth & Cultural Center, where the kids learn to run their own restaurant, run their own skateboard park, and learn computer skills in a technology lab. He would like to see something like that in VC. "The kids skate and surf after school and the kids run their own clubhouse, sell refreshments and plow the profits back into the skatepark. I think that's something Valley Center would embrace."
Hertenstein expects that some will object to a skateboard park as being too dangerous. He cites a study that, he says, shows that in 2007 sports-related injuries in emergency rooms in the U.S. broke down into 500,000 basketball injuries, 450,000 football injuries, 200,000 soccer injuries, 160,000 baseball injuries and 140,000 for skateboarding every year.
"We allow every one of those other sports in Valley Center. So why not sponsor a skatepark?" he asks.
Hertenstein wants potential sponsors to contact him by email. He says he has already lined up support from Bull Taco, Neal Mims and Jake Brown, pro skateboarders.
Contact him at Hertenstein.firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.