Vans Drops $1.5M to Fund Skate Park Under Boston’s Zakim Bridge


– City News Writer, BostInno

Boston should have a skate park under the Zakim Bridge in the near future, thanks to generous donation from popular sneaker company Vans.

The Boston Business Journal reports Vans, a subsidiary of VF Corporation, dished the Charles River Conservancy the last $1.5 million needed to build a 40,000-square-foot skate park in North Point Park, under the Zakim. Vans will also contribute an additional $25,000 per year for the next seven years to help cover maintenance costs.

The BBJ notes the Van Dorens, the founding family of the Vans brand, are Massachusetts natives.

The Charles River Conservancy has raised $3 million over the last decade to fund design and preparation plans for the skate park, a spokesperson with the CRC told the BBJ. The skate park is slated to occupy a “small portion” of the 8.5-acre North Point Park, atop a former brownfield site due to be converted into public space.

Now strapped with the final bit of funding from Vans, the Conservancy is set to break ground on the project this fall, reports the BBJ. In the meantime, the state’s transportation department (MassDOT), which currently owns the land, will need to make good on its end of a longstanding agreement with the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Twenty years ago, the agencies struck a deal that would see the transportation department swap a portion of park land to conservation and recreation department for park land used in the Big Dig, the BBJ reports. Once the skate park is up and running, the Department of Conservation and Recreation will manage it.

The skate park would serve as a destination for skateboarders, BMX bikers, and a host of other extreme athletes, including those in wheelchairs. Further, possibility remains for the skate park to host professional events – everyone needs some Sal Masekela in his or her life; in fact, Vans plans to host two “large-scale” pro events at the skate park each year, the BBJ reports, so why not the X Games? It could be, like, a trial-run for the 2024 Summer Olympics; see how a smaller event goes first, then reevaluate. But I digress.

Dubbed The Lynch Family Skate Park, after the Lynch Foundation, which contributed to the Conservancy’s fundraising efforts, also received support from The City of Cambridge, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the state.

Digression retracted: The Conservancy secured $5,000 in seed funding for the skate park from the foundation established by skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, way back in 2003. Additional donations poured in from 400 skaters and their parents, the BBJ notes.

See full article online here

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