The Parks Committee chairman at Community Board 12 said last week that a top-flight skate park could be within reach with just a little help from the city.
Speaking at the monthly meeting of CB 12 on Oct. 16, Greg Mays said Laurelton Playground, which sits on Brookville Boulevard between 136th and 137th avenues, is an ideal candidate for conversion.
“It meets the city Parks Department’s criteria for a skate park,” Mays said. “It is an existing park, with a lot of asphalt already there — to quote the song, they don’t want to pave over paradise to put up a parking lot.”
Mays also said the existing ballfield is not used often.
“More like every six months,” he said. “Plus, Parks likes to have evidence that local children are already going there to skate, and that exists.”
Mays’ model is London Planetree Skate Park, which opened in June on Atlantic Avenue straddling Ozone Park and Woodhaven. It was paid for with $1 million from Borough President Helen Marshall’s office and $600,000 secured by Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park). Mays said he will seek the same backing.
Laurelton Playground sits geographically within Community Board 13’s area to the north, but Mays said he already has initiated contact with his neighbors about the proposal. He also doesn’t care that it would be in a different jurisdiction, and neither would the children from CB 12 who he believes would flock to it given the opportunity.
“The only people who know where 12 ends and 13 begins are the people on the boards,” Mays said.
In a statement issued by her office, Marshall said skate parks can be valuable additions in the right location. She shared Mays’ assessment of the success at London Planetree.
“I believe that the skate park in London Planetree Park was a good investment that helps keep youngsters safe, and hopefully prevents injuries,” she said.