14th Street Skatepark opens Saturday; new name on the horizon
2010-01-15 · By Editor
Skaters and non-skaters alike are invited to come celebrate the grand opening for the 14th Street Skate Park on Sunday, January 17 at 1:00 p.m. The event will showcase the enlargement and improvement of the skating facility at 14th Street between Pine and Pacific Avenues.
Councilmember Robert Garcia, a key supporter of the improved skatepark, has proposed naming the skate park after late Long Beach teenager and skater Michael K. Green. The motion will be on the City Council agenda January 19.
“I’m looking forward to dedicating the Michael K. Green Skate Park,” said Garcia. “Michael was an avid skater and a positive role model for the community; he and his family deserve this honor.”
Michael was killed in a gang shooting crossfire in April of 2005. He had no gang involvement himself and was known for promoting skateboarding to younger kids as an alternative to gang activities and violence. His positive attitude and skating skill won him a coveted Vans Shoes sponsorship, and made him something of a hero to younger kids.
“He was an inspiration to everyone around here,” said former City Councilmember Mike Donelon, who has been a tireless advocate for the park and the kids who use it. “The kids really want this park named for one of their own, and they’re very excited to skate in Michael’s park.”
Local dignitaries will be joined by several Long Beach skateboarding legends and members of the community for a brief ceremony, refreshments, and the first official skates on the new, world-class equipment this Sunday.
The 14th Street Park is very popular, and this upgrade is part of an overall effort to improve the park in one of Long Beach’s poorest and most needy neighborhoods. The park is just one parcel of the larger 14 th street green belt, which is being rehabilitated piece by piece and extends from Long Beach Boulevard to Magnolia Avenue.
“We promised the community that we would find the funds to build the park, and build it,” said Councilmember Garcia. “8 months later, we are ready to dedicate the new park.”