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Skate park proposal meeting bittersweet for attendees

February 26th, 2009 · No Comments · Community

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Sixth District Councilman Dee Andrews and the youth of the district hosted their first community meeting to discuss a proposed skate park at McBride Park. The meeting took place at noon on Feb. 21 at the Samuel S. McBride, Sr. Park Social Hall. “With the city budget eliminating the mobile skate park program and other youth activities, the kids in the 6th District deserve the alternatives to the streets that skate parks provide,” said Andrews.
He asked Long Beach Skate Park Program founder and former Councilman Mike Donelon to assist with the proposed skate park. Donelon’s team recruited the involvement of former Long Beach pro skateboarder Ron Chatman and current Long Beach super pro Danny Montoya. Chatman is the first African-American pro skateboarder from Long Beach. He is a graduate of Poly High and Cal State University, Long Beach.
Montoya grew up skateboarding in Long Beach and is one of the most recognized pro skateboarders in the country. “It’s going to be very exciting working with kids in my home town. This grassroots effort will allow the kids in the neighborhood to be a part of something that is truly giving back to the community,” said Chatman.
Montoya, who will lead the design team with the kids, said the environment is a focus of the program. “Our concept will be to design some of the elements to replicate the best skate spots in Long Beach and use drought-resistant shrubs and trees throughout the skate park,” he said. “It will be one of the first urban, environmentally friendly skate parks in California and a great project for kids to be involved in.”
On April 9, 2005, 20-year-old Michael Green was killed when he was shot in gang-related gunfire in the 2000 block of Olive Avenue. His mother attended the Feb. 21 meeting and said all her son wanted to do was skate around the world. She asked the kids to encourage their parents to get involved in the skate program. All the professional skateboarders and Andrews signed her T-shirt in honor of her son.
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