Mabel Davis Opening Recap

Mabel Davis SkateparkThe grand re-opening of our neighborhood park on Saturday was well-attended. The majority of the city council, the mayor, the city manager, the parks department director and the solid waste services director all showed up along with neighbors and eager skaters from around town and around Texas. The city powers that be hammered on the long overdue delivery of both a clean park and a skatepark as a “promise delivered”. Nevermind that it took 5-10 years to deliver on both of them.

Most of the speeches were stock and stuck to the same theme. Too many cooks spoil the stew and too many speakers begin to get repetitive. Chuck Lesniak, who dealt with the remediation for the watershed protection arm of the city and also ran most of the neighborhood information sessions, got a little teary-eyed during his speech. The ribbon-cutting prominently featured one of Will Wynn’s daughters and some other kid. Would it’ve killed them to get some kids from the neighborhood? I’m sure Ms. Wynn’s park wasn’t built on a landfill.

The new skatepark drew skaters ranging from age 4 or 5 to age 40 or 50, a testament to the staying power of the sport. There’s talk of opening 1 or 2 more to meet demand. If Saturday was any indication, they’re needed. I brief talk with Jared Ficklin, neighbor and skater activist, let me know that there’s a bond meeting on Thursday that could impact future parks. Jared also pointed out some of the nuances of the design of the park. They purposely created the area above the bowl to form multiple lanes of traffic and it seemed to be working. Without prompting, the skaters self-organized into 4 lanes of traffic, each taking a turn for their run.

The new playground equipment is mediocre, installed two years ago and sitting unused since installation. For such a long wait, they might’ve done a little more. It looks like it’ll be a while before all of the grass grows in. They’ve planted lots of wildflowers in addition to the grass, so the spring is supposed to be spectacular. Chuck informed me that the paved trail that now dead-ends past the footbridge by the pond will eventually be continued and then looped around the park. This is supposed to be completed in the near-term and was a pleasant surprise. Those in the neigborhood should keep tabs to ensure that this happens.

2 Comments so far

  1. joey villarreal (unregistered) on December 31st, 2005 @ 3:17 pm

    great skatepark! it would be alot better if it had a halfpipe though. It also could have been alot bigger and better.

  2. seth (unregistered) on January 16th, 2006 @ 8:16 pm

    This skatepark is terrific. Glad it finally got built.


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