A non-denominational church in downtown Moberly is now providing a place for kids -- and teens -- to skate, hang out, stay warm, and get some exercise in the winter months.
On a recent Monday afternoon, about 15 kids are maneuvering skateboards, rollerblades and scooters throughout SkatePark41.
The skate park -- in downtown Moberly -- features a small half-pipe, two quarter-pipes and street style skating ramps.
Children's Director, Paige Comstock, of the nondenominational Family Life Fellowship, said her organization started the KidzSkate program about five years ago.
"We just wanted to open up a facility for the skaters so it just wasn’t a seasonal thing," Comstock said. "But they could continue it throughout the year.”
Comstock said Moberly’s only indoor skate park is free for the community’s youth as long as a parent or guardian signs a waiver.
“We have a lot of skaters in Moberly and we wanted to open a facility that was going to reach those kids,” Comstock said. “Everything at the skate park is completely free for the kids in our community.”
Skate park volunteer, Luke McDonald, said he has volunteered for Family Life Fellowship for two years now. He said his 9-year-old daughter participates in the KidzSkate program, and that it is beneficial for children to have a safe place to play even if they are not a part of the church.
“It’s just rewarding to see the kids come in and have a safe place to play, and skate,” McDonald said. “Rather than out on the street, especially this time of the year it’s getting cold and nasty outside.”
McDonald said the supervision and leadership of the skate park provides another positive, like getting them off the street.
"They are not unsupervised, skating around town where they could be in harm’s way or getting into things they shouldn’t be," McDonald said.
Comstock said the skate park is one of five indoor skate parks in Missouri.
Here's a look at the schedule and hours of operation:
- Children -- first grade through fifth grade -- can skate between 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.
- Children -- sixth grade through 12th grade -- can skate from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month.
SkatePark 41 is located at W. 526 Reed St. in downtown Moberly.
This story was heard in KBIA's arts and culture segment, Off the Clock.