Charles River Skatepark plans move forward with public meetings

 

 

by Johanna Kaiser, Town Correspondent for the Boston Globe

Developers of the long-awaited Charles River Skatepark are moving forward with plans to build a concrete oasis in North Point Park by hosting a pair of public meetings aimed at updating community members on the project and hearing from the skateboarders who will use the park.

The two public meetings hosted by the project’s builders, the Charles River Conservancy and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, will allow potential park users to hear from the project’s design team, Action Sports Design/Stantec.

“DCR is happy to continue to move this project forward. Working with CRC to providing a world-class, and ‘wheel-friendly’ park feature will enhance the visitor’s experience within one of the Commonwealth’s newest parks, located in Cambridge, and just steps across the North Point pedestrian bridge to Charlestown, Downtown Boston, and the Freedom Trail,” DCR Commissioner Edward M. Lambert, Jr. said in a statement.

ASD has designed skateparks across the country, including the world’s first-ever “green skatepark,” as recognized by the Tony Hawk Foundation, in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and plans to include as many sustainable design elements into the East Cambridge skatepark as possible while blending it with the surrounding parkland.

“We are not creating a skatepark, we are creating a park that you can skate in,” Mike McIntyre, ASD founder and principal who recently relocated to Stantec’s Boston office, said in a statement.

The skatepark will be beneath the ramps of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge in an area that most recently served as the construction staging area for the North Bank Bridge.

The site is also adjacent to the future Education First building that includes plans for a large waterfront restaurant and patio, and public restrooms.

“This is a complicated site, with many constraints, and a number of issues related to its previous industrial uses,” Jason Lederer, the Conservancy’s new skatepark project manager. “However, we are eager to achieve the vision the community has for the skatepark, while also ensuring it is safe and accessible, and in full compliance with all environmental regulations and agency requirements.”

Skateboarders eager to see the park built will also have a chance to offer their thoughts on the skatepark’s design.”The level of partnership that the Conservancy [CRC] and DCR have extended to the greater Boston skateboarding community is a big part of what is going to make this skatepark a world- class facility when it is completed,” said State Representative and Cambridge City Councillor Tim Toomey. “It’s going to be a great addition to North Point Park.”

The meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, September 19, and Wednesday, October 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Boston Public Library’s Mezzanine Room. — E-mail: johanna.yourtown@gmail.com

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