Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ozone Park Slated to Get New Skate Park by Stephen Geffon - Leader-Observer

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The forthcoming $1.6 million state-of-the-art addition to London Planetree Park, otherwise known as the 88th Street Park on Atlantic Avenue in Ozone Park, is sure to have a little something for everyone.

The proposed plan consists of a new skate park, two basketball courts, adult fitness equipment, a walking path, trees, shrubs and seating areas.

A Parks Department spokesperson said the skate park design features include two-, three- and five-stair sections, grind rails, hubba ledges, a stamped brick quarter pipe and a series of banks and slopes.

The skate park plans must be approved by the Design Commission before the design of the project can move forward. After the project is approved by the Design Commission, the plans will go out to bid.

Once construction starts, it will take approximately one year to complete.

Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said the impetus for the skateboard park came after community concerns were voiced to Councilman Eric Ulrich about teens constantly skating in the shopping center parking lot at Atlantic Avenue and 92nd Street.

Lewandowski said that since there was a local park located nearby with a large open asphalt field, “we thought this would be the best mix where we add an element to the park that would encourage kids to skateboard and bike in a safe public area rather than in a pedestrian shopping area.”

Lewandowski said that after meeting with the community and Ulrich, they came up with what they thought would be a very creative design that would accommodate skating, seating areas and exercise locations as well.

“It’s a nice re-adaptive use of that large open field and makes it a much more active location for people to recreate,” she said.

The city is currently home to 13 city skate parks. A few new skate parks in Queens were recently unveiled, putting the borough on the map for avid skateboarders. The parks include Astoria Skate Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Skate Park, Forest Park Skate Park, and Rockaway Skate Park.

The requirements for use of the skate parks are a signed liability waiver, helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wristguards (for those under age 18).

“This is a plus for the Ozone Park Community and the youth who utilize this park,” said Andrea Crawford, chair of Community Board 9. “It will serve the multi-generational community’s needs.”