California Locals Turn Skate Park Into Dirt Bike Course After Gov't Fills It With Sand To Force 'Social Distancing'

Brittany M. Hughes | April 20, 2020
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After local city officials in San Clemente, California dumped piles of sand into a local skate park to dissuade people from using it during the state’s COVID-19 shutdown, local residents, skaters and bikers responded in the only way you’d expect: by digging it out and turning it into a dirt bike course.

Upset that skaters were continuing to use Ralph's Skate Court despite being told to stay home to keep from spreading the coronavirus, city authorities filled up the course with some 37 tons of sand last week to force residents to leave the park.

“On April 1, we kind of let it play out to see if users would abide by the closure,” Samantha Wylie, the city’s parks manager, told the San Clemente Times. “During that (two-week period), we saw people continue to skate the park, groups would gather, kids with their parents. It appeared the closure was not being abided by.”

“The sand was what other agencies were doing,” Wylie continued, claiming that filling the park with 4 inches’ worth of dirt didn’t cost the city anything. “We’re doing what other parks have done to enforce that message of social distancing.”

But some taxpayers weren’t happy with the city’s attempt at forcing social distancing by vandalizing a park their tax dollars had paid for. At first, some residents showed up to the new skate park-turned-beach resort and sunbathed on the sand.

Then, over the weekend, locals showed up with shovels and brooms, rearranging the sand into a dirt bike track.

Eventually, they’d shoveled enough sand out of the park to use it as a skate park once again.

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