Mulberry Field’s skate park still just for boarders


By Devynn Barnes

The Zionsville Parks and Recreation Dept. met last Wednesday for the first time this summer. On the top of their agenda for discussion was the Mulberry Fields skate park and the decision of whether or not to allow bicycles, which are currently prohibited. After long discussion of safety and design concerns, the board decided the rules at the skate park will stand as written.

Parks and Recreation Board President Steve Bullington presented research he had done since the board last met and discussed the issue, which was brought forth by local patrons of the park. Bullington projected aerial photos of four other local skate parks on a screen before the board, examining the differences between those that allow bikes and those that do not.

The parks that do allow bikes, including the Asa Bales Park in Westfeild, Dillion Park in Noblesville, and the Indy Cycloplex near Marian University, all had common distinctive features such as large amounts of flat space and wider, hardened edges. The Carmel skate park, which does not allow bikes, was designed similarly to Zionsville’s and is more compact with less runoff space for bikers.

The decision came down to the fact that the Zionsville skate park was not designed for bikes, a fact that parks superintendent Matt Dickey said could lead to liability if the board were to approve the motion to allow them.

Bullington said the concern is that there would be “a lot going on in a relatively compact space,” inducing potential risk.

Park attorney Roger Burrus also spoke of the dangers of allowing bikes because they were not considered in the park’s original design, which would mean “creating a new theory of liability.”

The risk for the bikers and the skate park was ultimately too high, and therefore the park will remain open to skateboarders only.

The Park and Recreation board’s next meeting will be held at 7 p.m., July 9, in Zionsville Town Hall, 1100 W. Oak St.