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Not so pretty in pink
But. unofficial skate park painting leads to official improvements
skate park painting main pic
Great Bend city employee Dale Henning power washes one of the skate park fixtures Thursday afternoon after it had been painted pink by kids using the facility Wednesday night. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

If life gives you pink lemons, make pink lemonade. At least that was the philosophy of City Great Bend Public Lands Director Scott Keeler after he saw the skate park at Britt Spaugh Park Thursday morning.

Over Wednesday night, a group of skate park users took brushes in hand and painted all the bike and skateboard fixtures a vibrant pink. Even a picnic table had pink stripes.

“They were busy,” Keeler said. “They got pretty carried away.”

However, the painters used a household latex paint for their endeavor. And, it was a bit bright.

“The pink was a little over powering for us,” Keeler said. “We needed to do something about it.”

Besides, the paint the kids used won’t adhere well to the metal surfaces. So, a team from Keeler’s staff was at the park Thursday afternoon power washing all the features.

His first response was to call the Police Department and file charges. Then he had a change of heart.

“They were just trying to help,” he said. “They were trying to do the right thing.”

That’s when one of the frequent users contacted him. “They are going to get some money together to make some improvements,” he said.

Now, instead of criminal proceedings, those would-be vandals will be meeting with city officials within the next week. City employees and park users will come together for a joint effort to make the facility better and safer.

“We’re going to make a civic work day out it,” Keeler said.

There is a moral to the story: “We encourage all the support we get from the community,” Keeler said. “But, there is a process to follow.”

The park was born out of the Great Bend Youth Academy, a program where students tour the city and offer suggestions for improvements. It has been a staple at Brit Spaugh since the late 1990s.

skate park painting second pic
One of the Great Bend skate park features and picnic tables show the coat of pink paint applied by park users Wednesday night. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune