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Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, July 2, 2003

LAUNCH RAMP AND QUARTER PIPE COME TO FOREST PARK


Kids have a new place to perfect "a grind" and learn other skateboarding and inline skating tricks in Queens. On Monday, July 1 Council Member Joseph Addabbo, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Jr., Queens Borough Commissioner Richard Murphy and Forest Park Administrator Debbie Kuha joined a group of tweens and teens on skateboards to open the new Skate Area in Forest Park.

"All types of sports help keep us healthy and agile, and skateboarding is no exception," said Commissioner Benepe. "Thanks to Council Member Addabbo, we will continue to provide safe and fun spaces for skateboard and in-line skate enthusiasts in our parks."

Council Member Joseph Addabbo, Jr. secured a $5,000 grant from the City of New York Department of Youth & Community Development to create this new skateboarding and inline skating destination. The site is open on Mondays and Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. During these hours, the area will be supervised with skilled staff provided by the Forest Park Trust, Inc.

Karolis Maciulskis, one of the Skate Area’s three new staff members, is a skateboarder himself. He became hooked on the sport four years ago and is even looking to start his own skateboarding organization. Maciulskis’ favorite part about the extreme sport is the "freedom that you get." Maciulskis continued "The tricks that you do are up to you. Not up to anyone else. When you land it’s a wonderful feeling."

The first of its kind in a Queens park, the Forest Park Skate Area features seven pieces of equipment for skateboarders and inline skaters including a launch ramp, a grinding rail, a quarter pipe, a table top, a wedge, and a grinding ledge. From the beginning, young skateboarders and inline skaters were involved in the formation of the park.

"We’ve designed all these with the input of the skateboarding community, and we want to continue doing that," said Commissioner Benepe. The Commissioner encouraged the young crowd to let Parks & Recreation know what they think of the park and also to give us tips on how we could improve the Skate Area in the future.

Safety first. Participants must wear helmets, knee and elbow pads, and anyone under 18 must also wear wrist-guards. Everyone using the park has to sign a release waiver and if the skater is under 18 his or her parents must also sign the form.

The officials urged the skateboarders to spread the word and tell their friends about the new mini skate park. Jake Mooney, a nine-year-old from Ireland, is spending the month in the neighborhood visiting his grandfather. He will be returning to Forest Park’s Skate Area. "It’s good," said Jake.

Parks & Recreation operates three other skate parks, including Millennium Skate Park in Brooklyn, Riverside Skate Park in Manhattan and Mullaly Skate Park in the Bronx. Plans for additional skate parks are also underway, including a brand new facility at Rockaway Beach using funds allocated by Council Member Addabbo.

Written by Jocelyn Aframe

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,

Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse

Without all hope of day!"

John Milton

(1608-1674)

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