Medina Skate Park opens to rave reviews

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 September 2021 at 2:21 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Christian Drisdom, 18, does an ollie today at the Luke Nelson Skate Park at Butts Park in Medina. The site opened this week after being built the past three months by Spohn Ranch Skateparks.

Drisdom just started on a skateboard a few days ago when the park opened. He started by riding around the park on a skateboard and is trying some tricks with the board.

“When you learn something new, there is nothing like it in the world,” he said today.

The $550,000 park is named in memory of the late Luke Nelson of Middleport. He often came to Medina as a kid and young adult to use the former skate park, which was on a former tennis court. He was 23 when he passed away on April 22, 2017. His family has donated to the park and helped organize fundraisers to upgrade the site.

Ian Oppel, 10, of Medina zooms on a scooter in a  bowl of the new skate park.

There will be grand opening celebration of the skate park this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting, music and food trucks.

The Medina Skate Society lined up nearly $550,000 to build the new site at Butts Park. That includes $250,570.53 raised through local fundraisers and donations. That allowed the Skate Society to maximize a $250,000 matching grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

Alex Feig, president of the Medina Skate Society, rallied the community to support the project.

The Skate Society also has been awarded $42,000 for an Environmental Impact Award grant by The Skatepark Project, formerly the Tony hawk Foundation. The $42,000 will be used for storm water management and bioswales.

David Rhim, 18, does a drop-in at the skate park. He started skating today and picked up the sport pretty quickly.

Kaleb Hungerford, 11, of Medina takes off in the bowl.

The park includes areas and features for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

Some of the features include:

  • 2.5-foot to 4-foot quarter pipes lining the southern edge of the park.
  • A 2.5-foot mini-ramp/beginner bowl section that waterfalls down to a 4-foot section along the north eastern edge.
  • A fun box with a hip and an inventive street sized curb (for doing slappys).
  • There are hubbas (grind ledges) and grind rails for beginner, intermediate and advanced skaters and riders.
  • The intermediate kidney shaped bowl begins at 5 feet and waterfalls down to 7 feet.
  • The most prominent feature facing South Main Street is a functional art installation (steep slant) standing approximately 9 feet tall and 24 feet wide.
  • When entering the park from the walkway stretching from the main parking lot past the pavilion/seating area, there is 9-inch manual pad with a 20-inch ledge that bares the name of The Luke Nelson Skate Park.

Jeff Anderson, 39, of Tonawanda brought his skateboard out after taking a break for several years. He is in Medina today with his fiancé. He is shown on a steep slant that is about 9 feet high.

Anderson said the skate park will be an asset for the area.

“They did a great job,” he said about the park. “I’d rate it a 10 out of 10.”