MALVERN, Ark – A group of people in Malvern are coming together to build the city’s first-ever skate park.
Lance Brownfield, 25, says he and his friends have been trying to get one built in Malvern since they were in high school. Now 7 years later, they’ve finally secured a spot and work has begun.
Brownfield says the city has donated a plot of land for the park downtown. The rest of the work will be up to the skaters.
“For the most part, this is a DIY park,” Brownfield said. “It’s going to be grassroots, do it yourself, for the skaters by the skaters.
Brownfield says the whole community has stepped in to help. This past weekend several showed up to clean the space of any dirt and debris.
“People came grabbed a shovel and went right to work,” Brownfield said.
He says the group was a mix of both kids, teens and adults.
“If I can support these skaters in a way that I didn’t get that same support when I was that age, I’m going to be on board with it,” said Gerald Black who is helping build the skate park.
Black, who is now in his mid-40’s, says Malvern has never had a spot for skateboarders to learn, teach and play.
“Here in Malvern, we have to find spots where we can,” said Brownfield. “Any church parking lot you find, you’ll get run out of.”
Brownfield is hoping the new park will give skaters the home they have been missing and create more interest in the sport.
The project already getting community support. Brownfield says the local college in town has already agreed to do the artwork for the space and donate metal for the railing. A local concrete company is also donating supplies to help build obstacles for tricks.
“I think people agree with me there needs to be a change and we have to have something for young people to do,” said Brownfield.
Brownfield says he hopes to have the park open by the end of January with at least a few obstacles for skaters to do tricks on. He says the rest will be up to the athletes to design in the future.