Things were ‘wheelie’ great for young skaters at Forest Park on Aug. 13 as they celebrated the arrival of upgrades at the green space’s skatepark which they voted for previously.
While their requests included items like a sushi manny pad and a mushroom manny pad that might sound like a takeout order to the uninitiated, young skaters zoomed around the new ledges and ramps in appreciation on Tuesday morning.
The new skate elements were all installed in the park in June. Parks Queens Borough Commissioner Michael Dockett joined Councilman Robert Holden and Community Board 9 Chair Kenichi Wilson on Tuesday to celebrate the upgrades.
The skatepark received the new skate accessories after Holden allocated nearly $40,000 to the project. With this allocation of funds, the Forest Park Trust was also able to hire two seasonal instructors that ran the clinic to help new skaters from ages 7 to 14 learn the ropes.
Dave Gonzalez, one of the skate instructors, said that he was excited about this students progress over the six-week course.
“For kids to drop in on this ramp, it takes a lot of courage and self-confidence,” he said.
Gonzalez added that his clothing line hosts events in the park year round, and gives out free T-shirts and shoes to get kids from the neighborhood interested.
Holden said that MK Moore, Friends of Forest Park President, first tipped him off about the popularity of the skate park. The councilman said that on the day he visited back in January he saw 20 to 30 teenagers swarming the park after school in 30 degree weather. He decided then and there that he wanted to invest in the space.
“This is a great draw — a great facility. We need to make more skateparks in Queens. It’s a wonderful place and its well used,” Holden said.