BEND, Ore. - Skaters rejoice! After nearly a year of planning, design and construction, the Bend Park and Recreation District's new skatepark at Ponderosa Park is now open to the public, officials said Friday.
Skatepark enthusiasts are welcome to skate in the park during daylight hours when conditions are dry.
"Mother Nature must want skaters to check out the park before spring," said park district Director of Recreation Matt Mercer. "The weather forecast is for sunny and 50-plus degrees through this next week, so it's likely that numerous skaters will be able to enjoy the park -- which is great considering its mid-winter."
Located along the south end of Ponderosa Park, near Wilson Avenue and 15th Street, the skatepark consists of an approximately 8,000-square-foot main park and 4,000-square-foot skatepath.
It features a variety of street and transition opportunities including quarter- and half-pipes, stairs, rails and ledges. The final design was based on public input, site opportunities and constraints and budget.
"The park elements provide something fun and challenging for skaters of all levels and interests," said Mercer. "It was a goal for the park to be inviting to the entire skateboarding community, regardless of skill level."
To help users skate safely, the district has set forth use rules and guidelines including encouraging users to wear protective equipment, such as helmets and elbow pads, as well as to practice control and keep the surface clean.
Bend Park & Recreation District, 799 SW Columbia St., Bend, Oregon 97702
Free-style BMX bike and scooter riders may use the skatepark on a trial basis.
"When conflicts with skateboarders are likely, such as during high use, bike and scooter riders are encouraged to use the original skatepark at the northwest corner of Ponderosa Park," said Mercer.
He noted that the district has no immediate plans for the original park and it is likely to remain a multi-purpose area for some time.
"The new skatepark was built with the support of many local skateboarders and community tax dollars," stated Mercer. "It's important that users show that skateparks are positive additions to our community, as the vision is to have a system of skate spots in the future."
Local skatepark advocacy group PUSH (Providing Urban Skate Habitats) partnered with the Bend Park and Rec on the new skatepark, providing assistance in design, public outreach and contributing $40,000 in cash and in-kind donations toward the $380,000 project.
The new skatepark is part of numerous renovations underway at Ponderosa Park. Other improvements include new parking, restrooms, a picnic shelter, basketball courts, a playground, trails and more, which are anticipated to be completed by summer.
For additional information on the Ponderosa Park Skatepark, visit www.bendparksandrec.org or contact Matt Mercer, Director of Recreation, email@example.com or (541) 706-6103.