In 2000, after considering options for the empty space, Northside Community Council
(NCC) members proposed turning the space between Colerain and Kirby into a skatepark as a way to welcome visitors to the neighborhood and reflect the interests of its residents. Backed by the City of Cincinnati and with grant funding, that never-forgotten project is now in motion.
“The idea was that we had to come up with something that we wanted people to see when they come into the neighborhood,” says Tim Jeckering, former president of the NCC. “Whatever we decided on needed to set the tone for what we want this neighborhood to be.”
The Council enlisted the help of the international consulting firm Action Sports Design
, which has designed parks in Denver, Santa Fe and St. Cloud, MN. The company recently completed the initial designing phase of the Northside project. Next, members of the NCC plan to raise funds for park construction.
The proposed skatepark will cover 2,300 square feet and will include a skating area, a community garden, a space for small children and a walking trail.
Action Sports Design constructed the layout of the new park with multiple uses in mind: the skate platforms can also double as stages for performances; hiking trails and a garden provide other outlets for visitors in and from the community.
“We want it to be a positive place for youth for physical activities, exercise and recreation,” says Jeckering. “The idea is to make it a destination skating place; it’s something Cincinnati lacks.”
Jimmy Love, who has been skating Cincinnati for 10 years, says he’s excited to see the project move forward.
“I can't wait to have a spot with new ramps and rails to shred,” says Love. “As a local skater, I realize we damage a lot of the architecture in the city. Now that we’ll have a legitimate place to skate, it's a win-win situation."
By Jen Saltsman
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