Come out and celebrate the grand opening of the new Optimist Park Skatepark with the Port Huron Parks and Recreation Department on Saturday, May 20 at 10 a.m..
The community is welcome to watch a free skateboard, BMX, and scooter demonstration coordinated by Alpine Cycles, Port Huron's local skate and bike shop, at the grand opening event.
Optimist Skatepark is the finalized project of a multi-year collaborative effort to create a permanent, cement park accommodating skaters and riders of all ages and skill levels. This new skatepark is a regional draw, inviting opportunities for beginners and skilled skaters, young and old, to perfect their craft, share their techniques, and host competitions showcasing Port Huron and the surrounding Blue Water Area.
“We are thrilled that the Port Huron community will have the Optimist Skatepark as a place to socialize, get exercise, and play outside for generations to come. Skateboarding has changed the lives of so many, and provides amazing opportunities to work through challenges and connect with a diverse group of people,” said Benjamin Anderson Bashein, executive director of The Skatepark Project, formerly named the Tony Hawk Foundation.
This new skatepark is free to use and open to those who skate on skateboards, inline skates, roller skates and those who ride scooters and BMX bikes.
Optimist has options to ride both transition and street skating. The park features a bowl and several features such as manny pads, stairs, rails, ledges, quarter pipes and ramps.
"Youth driven, action sports like skateboarding provide young people with more opportunity to be active and socially engaged, fostering a sense of belonging and inclusivity for all. This skatepark is a shining example of what can be accomplished when a community comes together to invest in youth sports and recreation. We are proud to have worked with the experts at The Skatepark Project and the local skate community to bring this park to life, and we look forward to how the newest addition to Port Huron positively impacts the City and region," said Jim Boyle, vice president of programs and communications at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.
This skatepark was made possible through the support and efforts of The Skatepark Project; Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation; Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan; Community Foundation of St. Clair County; St. Clair County Parks and Recreation Commission; Michigan DNR Land and Water Conservation Fund; Advia Credit Union; ITC Holdings Corp.; Alpine Cycles, multiple private donors and those who helped support the Skatepark Advisory Committee fundraisers.
“We are so grateful to our partners and donors who made this skatepark possible,” said Nancy Winzer, director of the Port Huron Parks and Recreation Department. “It was amazing to see the skate community come together to go after the challenge grant. Their hard work to match the grant dollars created this opportunity and provided something great for our community.”
Optimist Park is located at 1400 Whipple St. in Port Huron, MI. Free street parking is available. Riders may use the park daily from dawn to dusk.
For more information about the Optimist Skatepark grand opening ceremony or the skatepark please call the Parks Department at 810-984-9709 or visit www.porthuronrec.com/optimistskatepark.