Medina agrees to name new Skate Park for Luke Nelson

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 August 2020 at 7:48 pm

Skate Society has $215,000 so far that will be matched by grant

Provided photo: This message for Luke Nelson was painted at the Skate Park in Medina. The site has cracks in the asphalt and will be upgraded to a concrete surface.

MEDINA – The Village Board this morning agreed to name a much-improved Skate Park in honor of Luke Nelson.

Alex Feig, president of the Medina Skate Society, urged the board to name the Skate Park in honor of Nelson.

Luke, a skateboarder from Middleport who often used the park, was 23 when he passed away on April 22, 2017. His family has donated to the park and helped organize the fundraisers to upgrade the site.

“Luke really is the inspiration behind this latest push to upgrade the Skate Park,” Feig told the Village Board this morning during a board meeting.

Skate Park design for Medina by Spohn Ranch

The Skate Park is at Butts Park on South Main Street. That park will continue to be a memorial for John Butts, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valiant actions in World War II.

The Skate Park will have a display that notes the site is named in honor of Luke Nelson. Feig said he anticipates there will be a plaque and small sign noting the park is in memory of Luke Nelson.

The Skate Society was able to secure a matching grant to upgrade the park with up to $250,000 from the Tony Hawk & Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundations. Medina has $215,000 raised so far and has until Nov. 30, 2020 to see if it can fully maximize the grant.

The $215,000 raised so far means there is $430,000 in upgrades coming to the site. Feig said there will be a skate jam fundraiser for the park from noon to 3 p.m. on Aug. 29 that should add to the local funds raised.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Jeremy Brandenburg of Medina heads down a ramp during a Skate Jam on Sept. 15, 2018 at Butts Park. The Village Board expects to declare the ramps and other skateboarding equipment as surplus to be sold. New equipment is headed to the park next year.

The Village Board also agreed to declare all of the metal ramps and some other equipment at the park as surplus. They will stay in place until October-November and then be sold. The village wants a full list of the equipment before declaring a surplus. The sale could be used as additional local funds towards the grant match.

The ramps are about 20 years old and Feig said they would likely be desired for someone’s backyard or by another community looking to develop a skate park.

Feig said Medina can soon hire a skate park specialist to prepare a conceptual design and then construction bids for the revamped site. The work on the park needs to be complete by Nov. 30, 2021 to meet the requirements by the Tony Hawk & Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundations.

The new public concrete skate park will have a smooth surface and new equipment for skaters, bikers, scooters and in-line skaters. The park will also be an architectural work of art, Feig said.

For more information on the Skate Park, can visit Donation can be made directly to the Medina Skate Society. Larger tax-deductible donations should be made out to the Orleans Renaissance Group Inc. PO Box 543 Medina, New York 14103 specifying in the subject line “Skate Park Project.”

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