Long-awaited skatepark to come to Boston area

 

By Drew Schwartz for the Daily Free Press

After fighting for more than a decade for a place Boston’s skateboarders could call their own, the Charles River Conservancy broke ground Thursday on a community skate park at Cambridge’s North Point Park.

The 40,000 square-foot Lynch Family Skate Park is slated to complete construction in Fall 2015 under the on-ramps to the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge.

Charles River Conservancy President Renata von Tscharner speaks to professional skateboarders Tony Alva and Christian Hosoi during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Lynch Family Skate Park. PHOTO BY DREW SCHWARTZ/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Charles River Conservancy President Renata von Tscharner speaks to professional skateboarders Tony Alva and Christian Hosoi during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Lynch Family Skate Park. PHOTO BY DREW SCHWARTZ/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

 

More than 50 local and state officials, professional skateboarders and community members attended the Thursday groundbreaking ceremony, including Vans’ Vice President Steve Van Doren, U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano and members of the CRC.

Several attendees praised the CRC for offering skateboarders, BMX riders, in-line skaters, scooter riders and handicapped athletes a safe place to ride and also for converting a former brownfield site into a sustainable public park.

“Think of all the tennis courts, the basketball courts there are in the world,” Van Doren said. “I bet you there’s more skateboarders than there are tennis players and basketball players, and they deserve to have their own location to do what they do best.”

The CRC has garnered over $3 million for the project since fundraising began in 2004, with notable donations including a $800,000 donation from the Lynch Family Foundation and a $1.5 million donation from Vans in July.

“This is one of those little corners that was, up until recently, the middle of nowhere,” Capuano said. “It’s an industrial area, and for all intense and purposes, an illegal dumping ground. And it’s exactly the type of place in the urban areas that’s just ignored. Until an advocate steps forward.”

The CRC gathered input from more than 400 skateboarders and their families to develop plans for the park, which will feature bowls modeled after empty swimming pools ridden by skateboarders since the early 1970s, as well as replicas of popular street-level “skate spots” throughout Boston.

Vans has pledged $25,000 annually to help maintain the park for the next seven years, and The Department of Conservation will manage and operate the facility. Vans, who brought skateboarding pioneers Tony Alva and Christian Hosoi to the ceremony, will also host biannual skateboard competitions at the park.

Among the attendees of the groundbreaking ceremony included members of the Charles River Conservancy, Vans management employees and community members. PHOTO BY JACQUI BUSICK/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Among the attendees of the groundbreaking ceremony included members of the Charles River Conservancy, Vans management employees and community members. PHOTO BY JACQUI BUSICK/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

“It’s a creative sport because there’s no rules, and there’s no guidelines,” he said. “It’s art, it’s creative, and it’s supposed to be something positive. Positive is what we’ll keep it if we keep moving forward by doing things like what happened here today.”

Architecture and engineering firm Stantec designed the skate park and Mike McIntyre, a former professional skateboarder, headed the development. Stantec has built more than 150 skate parks across the globe.

Though building won’t begin until Spring 2015, pre-construction on the site begins this fall, von Tscharner said. Once the CRC collects all necessary permits, they will begin pouring concrete at the park’s construction site in Cambridge at the beginning of 2015.

 

Read the full article here: http://dailyfreepress.com/2014/10/24/plans-for-long-awaited-skate-park-comes-to-boston-areas/

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