Updated: Aug 7, 2019
The Moraga Skate Park is located at the Moraga Commons Park, a popular destination for families and teens. One teen in particular enjoys the skate park so much he was motivated to approach the Moraga Town Council with a few ideas for improvement. As reported in the Lamorinda Weekly, at the age of 14, Owen Myall, Acalanes High School student, appeared before the council and provided his Public Comments, the results of which will help keep the park clean, provide a sustainable solution to the “water bottle problem,” and build a new viewing area.
Water filling station, visible trash cans, and a viewing area
Owen’s plan for the skate park is three-fold: add a water filling station, provide visible trash cans, and build a viewing area. These ideas fit in with a growing trend of removing disposable plastics from our everyday life. This includes the preferred use of reusable water bottles such as Klean Kanteen, Nalgene, Camelback or even those $6 reusable plastic cups from Starbucks. But to make these reusable water bottles practical, the skaters at Moraga park needed a filling station to refill their bottles (as opposed to bringing a bunch of disposable water bottles and leaving the trash behind). This is where Owen and his fellow skaters saw the most potential: to help keep the park clean they needed to convince people to skip the disposables and to refill their reusables at a water filling station. But it isn’t just water bottles, people were leaving food scraps and other trash in the “bowl” of the skate park on top of the empty plastic bottles. To help with the trash problem, Owen’s plan includes placing trash and recycle cans in more visible locations; that way, he and his friends wouldn’t be stuck cleaning up other people’s trash. The last part of the plan includes building a cement wall “viewing area” for parents to watch their kids and for tired skaters to catch their breath while at a safe distance.
The plan is coming together
Sixteen months later and Owen’s vision for the park is becoming reality. The Lamorinda Weekly reports that two separate contractors are scheduled to begin the improvements in late August. Completion of the project is expected to take a few weeks when, with any luck, it should be finished just in time for Owen’s 16th birthday.
The budget for the overall project is around $20,000 and includes new plumbing and cement pouring. After hearing the sum of the cost, Owen volunteered to raise the money himself. Through the help of his parents and two sisters, Madeleine, 23, and Emma, 21, Owen was able to collect donations from Moraga Parks Foundation, Sustainable Lafayette, Orinda Community Foundation, Lafayette Youth Commission, and Orinda Park Foundation.
Sustainable Lafayette was founded with the mission of providing the community of Lafayette with the information, inspiration, tools and assistance that facilitate the adoption of sustainable practices. Furthermore, we seek to act as a model, mentor and partner for other interested communities. If you have an idea or a project that helps support this goal of creating and implementing sustainable solutions, we’d love to hear from you.