The skate park at Empire Park 16.2.2011

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Took la famille to see the new skate park at Empire Park last night and watched skateboarders for ages. It’s a credit to council.

Empire Park has been controversial over the last year or more and is still the subject of an external review into council processes. Originally there was talk of a road through the park and shops opposite the beach – ie way less park – but those ideas went where they deserved and the gains have been this fantastic skating area, a children’s playground and a practice tennis area as well as new trees (you guessed it: tuckeroos; at least there were no magnolias; presumably because it’s beachside and they don’t do well there…).

Community consultation was an issue from day one and local residents still have concerns but it’s obviously to be hoped these concerns prove to be unfounded.

There were zillions of people at EP last night – hang gliders, touch football players, beach goers, joggers, tennis players and children playing.

I was amazed how quiet skateboard wheels are – you have to love technology, don’t you? And the garbage bin screens are lovely – we need those in Civic Park. And lots of people were wearing safety gear which was heartening to see.

I wonder whether the bubblers should have a tap for filling up water bottles, but maybe that idea was considered and rejected. Perhaps it just encourages waste and in a place like this isn’t needed. 

I hope this skate park upgrade doesn’t mean that the facility at South Newcastle Beach, under the gaze of those expensive apartments, is removed. It deserves an upgrade too. At this stage there are no plans to remove it.

My only regret about skate parks is that so few women and girls use them. Last night there were six females, all just watching. There’s a US website/blogspot/political movement called Skate Like a Girl (SLAG for short – love it). It’s needed here.

Go and have a look. Home

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2 Responses to “The skate park at Empire Park 16.2.2011”

  1. tess Says:

    now all they need is some very big shade trees nearby for respite from the sun

  2. GregW Says:

    Its really nice to see a positive post from an apparent non-participant. Participants understand that the issues that arise (are valid, but) are not generally caused by the participants. You go to the parks and you can see the kids who are skating and the ones who aren’t. The ones who are not are usually the ones that are raising hell!

    As an older participant, I wanted to say thanks for the good attitudes and advise that the Gold Bowl as it is affectionately known, is just fantastic to ride. Newcastle Council has done a splendid job in the face of strong largely unjustifiable criticism.

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