BY CAROL MCILMURRAY
The Nyack Village Board this week unanimously approved the final design of a 5,000 sq. ft. concrete waterfront skate park to be located in Memorial Park.
Scheduled to be completed by late spring 2015, it will be the first park of its kind in Rockland County. Such public skate and biking spaces, sometimes called action sports parks, have seen a steady uptick around the country in recent years.
Kanten Russell of Stantec corporation’s Action Sport Design group is the lead designer of the project. Russell, a former pro skateboarder turned designer of action sports venues, has worked on over 75 public skate parks. He said his goal is to create a safe and easily available place for people to engage in a pastime that he has been passionate about throughout his life.
Russell’s design “integrated seamlessly with the master plan for Memorial Park, resulting in an architecturally beautiful design,” said lead advocate for the project, Sarah Anderson, who presented the final renderings at Nyack Village Hall. She noted that part of Russell’s design emulated the look of the current Tappan Zee Bridge, with two cascading ramps in the center of the space.
Russell said the skate park in Nyack only happened because many members of the community were active and vocal in support of it. The grassroots effort led by Anderson began in 2010 and attracted the support of hundreds of locals.
Anderson, who is married to an avid skateboarder and a mother of two “future skateboarders,” said she wanted a safe place for her family and community to engage in a sport they love.
After holding many meetings, fundraisers, and appealing to the community, the future skate park received the top award of $25,000 from the Tony Hawk Foundation and a $100,000 state grant through the efforts of Senator David Carlucci. On May 31 of this year the punk band the Misfits appeared in support of the project.
Construction is slated to begin in spring 2015 and will take about six weeks to complete.
Nyack’s success has encouraged supporters of an effort to build a skate park in Stony Point. Lead Stony Point advocate Mike Ehlers said $30,000 has been raised toward that project.