Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last month, you’ve already skated Lower Woodland skatepark. You’ve seen the construction crew leave, and the armies of kids descending on the park like ants on a Jolly Rancher. You’ve noticed that the flow bowl is actually pretty fun, and that there are way too many bikes, even though most of the bikers seem to be respecting the coping and riding without pegs. You may have even been approached by a police officer and told, very nonchalantly, to please leave until he/she leaves and then come back.
Has anyone spotted Kris Fuller lurking on the fringes, clutching a decibel meter and a copy of her failed lawsuit to try and halt this “incredible waste of taxpayer dollars”?
All jesting aside, Lower Woodland is already a huge success. Yes, T.F. Sahli was not even our third choice of builder, and the park was not built as it was designed. But let’s face it…it’s fun and Seattle really needed a proper centrally-located skatepark with bowl and street terrain, that had something for all levels of expertise. While I’m sure Grindline or Dreamland would’ve built a better park, it really seems like Wally Holiday and T.F. Sahli have created exactly the type of park that is attracting a ton of skaters, and proves that we desperately need more skateparks to address the insanely high demand.
The ribbon cutting and official opening day will be on June 7th, and will include an appearance of Mayor Greg Nickels who paid for the bulk of this park by dipping into his own budget. Sure, Ballard was imploding under the pressure of an entire community wondering why the Parks Department would simply remove such a popular and positive skatepark facility, but let’s give credit where credit is due. Lower Woodland is Mayor Nickels’ baby and he will be there to grab the glory. There will also be a pro team demo as yet to be announced, as SnoCon is still lining up the talent, and a bunch of free stuff will get thrown out. DJ Masa will also be repeating his amazing 7″ skate punk session he performed at the original Ballard bowl.
It definitely won’t be anything like last weekend’s Thrasher event at Marginal, but it’ll be nice to celebrate the opening of Seattle’s first reasonably-sized skatepark with a little bit of revelry, even if it’s going to be executed under the usual Parks Department safety net. See you there.