Skateboarders have long been relegated to honing their craft on less-than-desirable spaces, like cracked sidewalks, busy streets and the steps of public buildings. Thanks to the newly renovated Skatepark of Baltimore in Hampden’s Roosevelt Park, that’s no longer the case for local kids who’ve caught the skateboarding bug or are just trying it out.
“It has something for all different skill levels,” says Stephanie Murdock, president and founder of the all-volunteer nonprofit Skatepark of Baltimore who led the vision of a world-class skate park to reality.
The new $465,000 renovations, which debuted at the end of 2016, include an 11,000-square-foot concrete street-skating area complete with stairs, handrails, ledges and other amenities. These upgrades—the result of private donations, city and state funding—add to the park’s 5,000-square-foot concrete bowl, completed in 2014. Skatepark of Baltimore is currently fundraising in pursuit of yet more upgrades, like bathrooms and seating.
But already, the skate park has come a long way. Back in 2006, local skateboard enthusiasts built a “makeshift” skate park at Hampden’s Roosevelt Park, an 18-plus-acre Baltimore City park. The donated and amateur-built wooden structures had fallen into disrepair, making these latest renovations particularly appealing.
“Already, the upgraded facility is serving as many as 100 youths a day,” says Murdock of the free park open from sun up to sundown. She suggest novices come early in the morning, when it’s less crowded. “There are plenty of flat, open smooth surface areas for practicing,” she says.
Murdock, herself a skateboarding aficionado, says the park is teeming with a wide mix of people on most days. “It’s really inspiring to me,” she says.
For more information on Skatepark of Baltimore, visit the website here.
Photo courtesy of Skatepark of Baltimore.