Out-of-town skate boarders were disappointed this weekend when they showed up at the Harrison County Skate Park and found that it had been shut down. With little warning, the Harrison County Skate Park and Hockey Complex has been closed and sold to a private film company. Since the announcement, skaters, roller derby girls, and parents have all spoken out against the closing. Clinton Baker is leading the charge for the skateboarders. Baker owns a local skate shop and says he's had many customers come in and complain about the park closing. Baker started a petition to have the skate ramps moved to another location, but has been shut down by the Harrison County Board of Supervisors.
Baker says, “We tried to get on a county board agenda for their county board meeting, and they pretty much told us we didn't have anything to present to them, as far as the skate park's done with. Pretty much denied our freedom of speech to present it to the county.” Since the board refuses to even hear the skaters' case for alternative options with the park, Baker has moved on to the Gulfport City Council. Baker has been in contact with the Tony Hawk Foundation about funding for a new park. The foundation has said if the city of Gulfport can secure land, they will pay to furnish the park and possibly even pay to maintain it. The Tony Hawk Foundation is organizing a more specific proposal which will be given to Baker to be brought before the Gulfport City Council on May 6th.