The final design of the skate park that will be built at Geary Park was presented to the Ferndale City Council at its March 11 meeting. Evergreen Skateparks created the rendering.

The final design of the skate park that will be built at Geary Park was presented to the Ferndale City Council at its March 11 meeting. Evergreen Skateparks created the rendering.

Rendering provided by the city of Ferndale

Final skate park design presented to City Council

Project will aim to be green

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published March 18, 2019


FERNDALE — One month after the city of Ferndale selected Geary Park as the location for its skate park, it also has finalized the design of the skate park.

During the March 11 City Council meeting, Parks and Recreation Director LaReina Wheeler and Evergreen Skateparks designer Richie Conklin presented what the skate park at Geary will look like.

The skate park includes various quarter pipes, bumps, rails, banks, drops and more for skaters to use to test their skills. It also features green space and trees located in the center of the grounds.

Conklin said the idea behind the design is to take some traditional skate park features and integrate them in an organic shape that will lend itself to intermediate, beginner and advanced skateboarders, as well as bicyclists and scooter riders.

“You can travel around the entire thing without running into any hard lines or any mandatory drops or anything that’s too challenging, but at the same time there’s plenty of features all the way around it to keep the most skilled skater entertained,” he said. “I’ve built a handful of skate parks in this area: (Ferndale), Clawson and Sterling Heights, and I’m really excited to come back when it gets a little warmer and give you guys one of the best skate parks in the world.”

The final design comes after several community meetings that gathered resident feedback on what features the skate park should include.

Wheeler also announced that the city has been selected by the Tony Hawk Foundation, which had gifted a Built to Play skate park grant for $250,000 that will help construct the park, to get additional funding to make the skate park more green and be a model for future skate park recipients of that same grant.

She said Ferndale will be working with a landscape architect through the Tony Hawk Foundation who will help guide the city to bring its sustainable vision to fruition.

“We’ll be looking at different elements that can also be included to make us more of a green skate park,” Wheeler said. “One for sure is we’re looking at zero stormwater runoff. So that’s our top priority, which I think may already be captured in a design that we have today.”

When asked what about this park will be “cutting edge” that others will want to duplicate, Conklin said the biggest factor is keeping the trees already there located on the land.

“We’re going to work around those without having to take those (trees) out, and then just mitigating stormwater runoff and keeping that in the park and not having to obviously put it in the sewer systems,” he said. “That’s the main thing there.”

Resident Louise Asher commented that, when working around a mature tree, it’s important not to damage the roots and that construction trucks can sideswipe or back into them.

“In the event they suffer damage that they can’t recover from — because we love this group of trees; it’s provided years of shade and oxygen — what can be done then?” she asked.
Conklin, who will act as project manager when construction begins, said Evergreen will not dig into the root system and only build up, but not too much, as to not smother the trees.

“We’re all quite, quite skilled in operating heavy machinery, so I feel confident that we won’t damage any of the trees,” he said. “But I suppose in the event that a driver or somebody does, then yeah, we would have to replace the tree if it was beyond repair.”

According to Wheeler, she hopes that the project will break ground in April. She said that the construction will continue for three to four months.