WEATHERFORD, Okla. (AP) _ Local skateboarders don't have to worry anymore about breaking the law.
The citywide ban on skateboarding essentially ended Thursday with the completion of a $26,000 skateboard area at Rader Park. The course is just beyond the outfield fence of Weatherford's main baseball field.
``The only thing we have to worry about out here is maybe an occasional baseball flying over the fence,'' skateboarder Josh Melton said.
Melton's family became instrumental last year in lobbying for a place to skate when the activity was banned in the downtown district.
Debbie Melton, a local real estate agent, led the way, along with her three skateboarding sons _ Micah, 25; Josh, 20; and Jacob, 17. Together, they put together a fund-raising drive in the community that raised $13,000.
City Parks and Recreation Director Randy Devine said the city matched the group's money with another $13,000 to make the 7,000-square-foot skateboard park a reality.
``For a small town to get the kind of public support they did, that's definitely impressive,'' said the park's creator, Jason Speer, a Lawton native now living in Huntington Beach, Calif. ``This is the smallest park I've ever built, but it's perfect for a town the size of Weatherford. ``The skaters will love it.''
Skateboarders especially wanted to thank the city.
``I was glad to see the city step forward and help out,'' said Chris Johanning, 20. ``You know, not everybody plays baseball. This is just another form of recreation, and I think the park will attract a lot of college students.''
Natasha Melton, Josh's wife, said she expects the skateboard park to provide another service of equal importance.
``In a lot of these smaller towns, kids don't have anything to do,'' she said. ``So I think a lot of those kids will come down here to watch and hang out. I think that's great.''