ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A quiet south St. Louis neighborhood will soon play host to lots of ollies, grinds and goofy-foot fakies.
Dozens of people gathered at the corner of Morganford and Osceola in the Bevo neighborhood Saturday for ground-breaking ceremonies for the first legal, public skateboard park in St. Louis.
Bryan Bedwell, chairman of a group calling itself “Kingshighway Vigilante Transitions” (KHVT), has been the driving force behind this effort.
For nearly four years he’s been meeting with various neighborhood associations throughout the city to nail down a site.
When he looks at the dirt mound he’s able to envision the concrete banks and swirls that he and his fellow boarders will soon be swooping over.
“It’s gonna be almost like a race track for skateboarding,” he pointed out. “Right along here there’s going to be a higher spot, raised up where there’ll be a couple of ledges and handrails for the kids to skate on. And there’s gonna be a little half bowled-out section and it goes down into a pair of quarter-pipes.”
Bedwell explained they had they had been skating at a self-built park beneath the Kingshighway overpass near Southwest Avenue but “the bridge is from 1936 and it’s basically falling down on top of us”.
The skaters found support from Alderwoman Carol Howard, whose 14th Ward includes the Bevo neighborhood.
“I’m hopeful that this will be an asset for the neighborhood,” she said Saturday after helping to turn the first ceremonial shovelfuls of dirt. “It’s the first skate park in the city of St. Louis, so this is big.”
According to Bryan Bedwell they’re out to change misconceptions about skateboarders.
“The main one that everybody has is that they’re just some kind of punk kids going around destroying stuff,” he said. “But in reality skateboarders are everybody. You got older guys here that are getting close to 60, even, and they still skateboard.”
He expects the skate park, which will double as a community garden, to be open by Memorial Day.
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