Ground is broken for Cambridge skate park project

 

By Trisha Thadani in the Boston Globe

The formal groundbreaking for a skate park to be built on nearly an acre of land in Cambridge, giving skateboarders and other dudes and dudettes ample room to practice their kickflips and ollies, was held Thursday.

The Lynch Family Skatepark, a 40,000-square-foot skateboard and recreation facility, will be built in Cambridge’s NorthPoint development beneath the ramps to the Zakim/Charlestown Bridge, according to the Patrick administration and the private funders.

The park, which will be placed on a former brownfields site, is set to open in 2015.

US Representative Michael Capuano joined park sponsors Peter Lynch of The Lynch Foundation, Steve Van Doren from the Vans sneaker company, and Renata von Tscharner of the Charles River Conservancy at the event.

State Secretary of Energy and Environmental Maeve Bartlett appeared on behalf of Governor Patrick.

The park will provide skateboarders and others a place to showcase their talents, the statement said. It will also provide them with a safe alternative to practicing in public places in the area, which can be hazardous to others or detrimental to the urban landscape, the statement said.

The $3 million park project was initiated by von Tscharner, and sculptor Nancy Schon. Schon became an advocate for the park when she learned that skateboarders were utilizing her sculptures in the city — including the Public Garden’s iconic “Make Way for Ducklings” — as places to practice because they didn’t have anywhere else to go.

Fund-raising for the facility began in 2003, when skateboarding legend Tony Hawk’s foundation provided a seed grant of $5,000, officials said. In the past decade, the Conservancy has raised more than $3 million for the park from contributors such as The Lynch Foundation, the City of Cambridge, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and Vans.

Hundreds of skaters and parents have also supported the development.

Once built, the park will be operated by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation as a state park, officials said.

Trisha Thadani can be reached at trisha.thadani@globe.com.Follow her on Twitter @TrishaThadani. Read the original article here: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/10/23/ground-broken-for-cambridge-skate-park-project-facility-will-cover-nearly-acre/xJLPeAmEOfhqA4UL00OnbL/story.html

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