New York City’s skateboarding community have found themselves fighting with the city Parks Department over a beloved patch of asphalt in Tompkins Square Park.
A group of skateboarders have launched a petition to stop the Parks Department from replacing an asphalt lot with synthetic turf. The change is due to take place next year as part of a massive reconstruction of the East River Park.
As it is, multi-use public asphalt areas in the city and the East Village alone are hard to come by. If the city goes ahead with the already approved plan, it will force many young kids and teens onto the street. For many decades these people have called this park home and have built a community around this one small area of the park.
Skateboarding has a deep rooted history in Tompkins Park starting in the 1980’s when skaters would gather to compete in contests with makeshift ramps. Since then numerous skaters and generations have been calling the park home and it will be a shame to have that taken away!
The group that has started the petition against the reconstruction had this to say:
“The city has approved a plan to cover the northwest corner of Tompkins Sq park with synthetic turf. This plan was approved without support from the community. The area of the park they would be renovating has a historical and sacred importance to skateboarders and other community members who would be excluded from the new facility. Hopefully this petition will reflect the interests of the people who use the park the most! Lets make it clear: we don’t want our corner of the park altered!”
One of the skaters we are getting behind is a 15 year old who’s name is King. He grew up spending days and nights at the park and is taking matters into his own hands to spread the word about saving the park. Check out an Instagram post he shared with a heartfelt message below.
Sign the petition here to help save the park and help give the city kids a safe place to skate and hangout with friends!