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January 8, 2013

Mayor Annise Parker, Community Leaders Break Ground on World-Class Skate Park and Park without Limits in North Houston

Mayor Annise Parker, Council Members Jerry Davis - District B and Ellen Cohen - District C and members of the Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority broke ground for new park facilities in the Greenspoint area. The 10-acre site will become home to the Spring Skate Park, which will complement downtown's Lee and Joe Jamail Skate Park, and Dylan's Park, a "park without limits" to accommodate children with disabilities. Opening is scheduled for Spring 2014.

The $5.5 million skate park in North Houston will have 72,000 square feet of skate surface and, upon completion, will be the largest skate park in the nation and second-largest in the world. This project will help fill a recreational void in the Greenspoint area, allowing children to play close to home. In addition to being a draw for residents from the immediate neighborhood and all over Houston, it will entice skateboard enthusiasts from around the country.

The skate park's unique design includes a world-class competition-scale Texas bowl featuring a full pipe, 12-foot vert ramp, 10-foot bowl, banked walls and speed hips, plus a couple of backyard-style pools and three beginner/intermediate/advanced flow bowls. A section designed to emulate the street-skating experience will have ledges, rails, benches, banks, quarter pipes and stair obstacles, providing fun and creative challenge for skaters of all levels and interests.

A second aspect to the recreational facility, the park without limits, is named after a child who was severely injured, and later died, from child abuse. Dylan's Park will have areas designed to engage children who have visual impairment, are deaf or hard of hearing, have been diagnosed with autism or utilize a wheel chair for mobility. The park will also include open grassy areas for unstructured play, and the facility will be completely fenced.

Parks without limits promote inclusion, healthier bodies and add to the lives of all children, especially children with disabilities.

Families with special needs children need these kinds of parks. They promote unity and add to productive lives and healthier bodies for those that have far too little resources for outside fun.

Funding also provides for walking trails, a community center, a management office and public restrooms. Maintenance will be handled by the Greenspoint District, which maintains other parks developed by the Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority. The District and the Authority are also working together, with other public and private sources, to create a system of trails connecting the area's parks to Greens Bayou.

Skateboarding has been shown to have therapeutic applications for children diagnosed with autism. Additionally, the small inclines of the beginner's skate area are perfect for use by persons who utilize wheelchairs. If there is community interest, the skate park could close on occasion for wheelchair games, effectively making the entire facility a park without limits.

Skate Park Groundbreaking

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Council Members: Helena Brown • Jerry Davis • Ellen R. Cohen • Wanda Adams • Dave Martin • Al Hoang • Oliver Pennington • Edward Gonzalez • James G. Rodriguez • Mike Laster • Larry V. Green • Stephen C. Costello • Andrew C. Burks, Jr. • Melissa Noriega • C.O. “Brad” Bradford • Jack Christie
Controller: Ronald C. Green