Town is on board for new skate park

The city officials say a “world class” skate park is coming to the waterfront in December.

The worry that concrete where the new skate park is being constructed by the Lake Champlain waterfront could potentially contaminate the lake is not a concern, a city official said.

Town is on board for new skate park
Town is on board for new skate park PHOTO BY VANESSA HALLIDAY

Kirsten Shapiro, special projects manager at the Community and Economic Development Office in Burlington, said building with concrete traps contaminants. The construction site is on a “brownfield,” which is an area that may be contaminated because of industrial use in the past, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.

Shapiro said the construction should be finished by the end of this calendar year. “The previous skate park was also located on a brownfield,” Shapiro said. “In fact, Waterfront Park is built on a brownfield.”

The old skate park was built over 10 years ago, was made of metal and it was in rough shape because of the weather, Shapiro said.  It also wasn’t big enough to meet the demand and use, she said.

To use the site, Shapiro said CEDO has a plan that requires them to separate and cap the contaminated soils below the surface.

The skate park is at the waterfront so a person can get to it easily, Shapiro said. Shapiro said the city council was very clear where they wanted the skate park because they want young people of the community to enjoy the waterfront and not feel isolated.

“We think it will increase the vitality on the waterfront,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro said mayor Miro Weinberger, has supported the project from the beginning and pushed to have this world-class facility on the waterfront. “The new skate park is one of the key components of the major transformation of the northern waterfront from an eyesore to an attractive expansion of what we love about our waterfront,” Weinberger said in an Oct. 16 statement.

“The city is fortunate to have the chance to make the most of this investment with federal funds and tax increment financing dollars,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro said the city also had interns from UVM who worked on the project in terms of community outreach, organizing the skateboarding community, raising awareness and fundraising events.  

Quade Rocke, a local sponsored skateboarder and member of the Burlington skateboarding community, said he moved to Burlington just for skating.

“That park is going to breed talent,” Rocke said.  “Over a 10-year span I guarantee that park is going to put out some people that are going to put Burlington on the skateboarding map.