Several tragic events over 15 years ago inspired a more than $400,000 skatepark near downtown Belmont. The new park just opened this week.
“There’s history here. We had three tragedies. Two tragedies that happened on the same day. Trevor Grey, who was a 13 year old, was skateboarding on the street and a truck was not able to avoid him. And then we had a police officer head to the scene. He had a massive heart attack and died. So the family as a result of that and what the minister said considers that he had a police escort to heaven,” said Martha Stowe, a Belmont city council member.
In 2018, another local boy died after sustaining a serious injury when his skateboard hit a rock.
Stowe, who spearheaded the new park, said she had to fight every step of the way for 17 years to see the new park through.
“It took a long time because it was not a priority for a number of people. Part of it is the demographic of skaters,” she said. “People had a real different idea of what skateboarders were. And a lot of other things going on. We built a big rec center and had those sorts of things happening but finally we had enough people that it was important.”
The park has everything one could want, including a bowl, ramps, rail slides, a covered area and even a beginner area for those just starting out. The park is also officially skater approved.
“It’s nice and stuff. I like it a lot. This one is actually well put together,” one skateboarder said.
The skate park is a tribute to a young boy who loved to skate and whose life was taken away too soon. And as a place to keep kids off the streets at a time when there seems to be so much youth violence -- it’s needed now more than ever.
Stowe said she is impressed with what she’s seen so far.
“We had, according to reports, we had somebody do a 360 so we must have some talented people here,” she said.
The city of Belmont is hosting a skate park expo on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. There will be food trucks, music, a skate demo and more to break in the new skate park.
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