After a tough winter, things are back up and running at Heaven Skatepark in downtown Hartford. To prepare for a packed summer of skateboarding, BMX, graffiti and music, the Friends of Heaven Skatepark are organizing a cleanup this Sunday (May 3) at 11am at the park to ensure its resplendence. The cleanup will last until about 1pm and then we’ll have some pizza for lunch. We’ll provide some tools, gloves and bags, but please bring whatever other tools and gear you think will make the cleanup go more smoothly for you.
It’s taken all the way to Spring, but it looks it’s finally not going to snow and postpone the fundraiser again. So, same location as the two previous posts, but the date and time are now: Saturday, March 21 6pm-11pm. Hope to see you there.
Here’s a link to the Facebook page.
***POSTPONED again due to more snow***
We’ll update when we have a new date. Please be sure to donate via gofundme in the meantime.
It’s that our upcoming fundraiser is now on Valentine’s Day. And while I can’t think of anything more romantic than music and dancing, maybe you’re a French restaurant stick in the mud. However, you can still donate to Pop Tart and Moses’ legal fund via the internet. We made a gofundme site and you can check it out here. Our total goal is $1000 and we’re confident that we can get there with your help.
***Details to follow and new flyer for the rescheduled event. Stupid snow.
We’re holding a fundraiser for Poptart’s legal defense fund this Saturday at Charter Oak Cultural center. Doors open at 6pm. See all the details in the flyer below.
Some good on the light front. Starting at some point soon, the lights will be on and until 8pm. My understanding is that this has been communicated to the police. If you’re in the park after 8pm, you may still run afoul of the police.
Also, soon to be installed in the park are signs that give a broad outline of the park’s dos and don’ts. It’s just obvious stuff to remind people not to little, paint on areas other than the walls and that they are using the skatepark at their own risk. Nothing heavy handed. There also appears to be a typo on the signs. It’s the sign maker’s fault, not ours.
This map is a of the DoNo development plan for the area just north of the skatepark. Those of you who have been following this in the news probably are more familiar with it as the stadium project. The stadium project that was approved by the City Council last week. If you look at the bottom, there’s an area called “Gateway Park”. It’s not a park that you may have heard of, because you know it by its more popular name of “Heaven” or a little less well known name of “New Ross, County Wexford Park”. While this map does not depict a skatepark, it does show some green and some buildings. The logical conclusion is that the development plan contemplates a Downtown North area without a skatepark and some pablum, useless space to welcome gentrifiers.
We’re not going to stand for this. Those of us in the Friends of the Park group have attended a few hearings and asked the Council for more information on the fate of the park. We have received zero response. We’ve also told them not to remove the park. As it stands right now, it’s the only vitality in that area and it seems moronic to delete the one thing there that works and is positive.
We aren’t getting anywhere, so we need your help. The stadium project is going to roll forward, but we can’t let it roll over us. Contact the City Council & Mayor and tell them to hold Heaven Skatepark harmless. We just invested $160,000 in this park and its popularity is staggering. Knocking it down is the last thing this City needs to do.
If you were there on Saturday, you had a great time. If not, the park is open dawn to dusk 365 days a year and you can still have a great time. There might not be as many elected officials, marching bands or DJ’s, but it should still be pretty fun.
Also, we wanted to reiterate our thanks to Mark Tamaccio, city architect. This project would have foundered without him.
Here’s a round up of pictures and articles (send us an email or post a link in the comments section if you have any of your own. I saw lots of cameras out, so I’m sure there’s some good pictures and videos out there):
Hartford Courant article & Eye Contact blog post
Pictures Brendan took
Shanta Wiley LTE
Thumbs Up Editorial
So, stop poaching the park!
Anyway, here’s a press release I sent out with all the details. Hope to see you there on Saturday.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hartford’s first skatepark to open this Saturday, Celebration noon to 4 pm.
Please join us this Saturday at noon at Heaven
(New Ross, County Wexford Park) in downtown Hartford, Connecticut at noon for the ribbon cutting ceremony and opening celebration of the City’s first skatepark. After five years of effort by members of skateboard, BMX and hip hop community, the park is reopening again in its entirety with a world-class poured concrete skatepark for Hartfordites and others to enjoy. Of course, the history of the park with respect to skateboarding goes back nearly 20 years; as many know it was featured in several seminal 90s skate videos and established Hartford as the secret skate mecca of the Northeast.
The program will be begin at noon on Saturday with remarks from the Friends of Heaven Skatepark, local elected officials and others involved in the creation of this park. Invited and/or confirmed guests include Mayor Pedro Segarra, the Hartford Court of Common Council, former Councilmember Luis E. Cotto, 860 Custom Skateshop, Underground Coalition, the Tony Hawk Foundation and others. Please stay afterwards for demos, live music, graffiti, breakdancing and to use the park (or spectate). Starting Saturday, the skatepark will be open dawn to dusk everyday.
The Hartford Court of Common Council created the Hartford Skateboard Task Force in 2009 with the purpose of advising the City on the potential location, design and construction of a skatepark. Comprised of representatives of the skating, BMX, business, government and park communities, the Task Force fulfilled those goals and undertook fundraising and grant writing measures to ensure that the park would be built. The design for the park was created with strong community input and a devised process via a series of public meetings. Pulling together a United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant through the City of Hartford, a Tony Hawk Foundation Grant (first one in CT, making CT the final state in the country to get one) and individual donors, the park was able to secure funding and grow from a dream into reality. Through a competitive bidding process, the design/build team of Stantec and Who Skates was selected, designing and constructing the skatepark in 2013-2014.
The Friends of Heaven Skatepark is a group born out of the legacy of the Task Force to maintain, promote, program and encourage the free use of the New Ross, County Wexford Park and Heaven Skate Park by providing a space that fosters grassroots arts, recreation and culture for Hartford youth and residents.
More information about the Friends group and the history of the project and the space is available at www.heaveninhartford.org
In the event of inclement weather, the rain date is Sunday with the same schedule.
As you may know, Saturday is also Riverfest, so stay even longer for fireworks.
Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday to help clean up the park! It looks way better and many of the ledges are skateable again. I hope the pizza and cleaner park were adequate recompense for your labor.
Also, please try to exercise some self-control and stop hoping over the fence and skating the park before it opens. You break it, you buy it.
After years of waiting and hoping the park is almost complete. Construction should be completed this week or next. So, two important dates are coming up:
June 29, 11am – 1pm: Park-wide cleanup to prepare for the grand opening. Come join us on Sunday to pick up trash, cut back foliage and sweep up wood chips so that the park is looking shiny for the grand opening ribbon cutting.
July 12, noon (rain date July 13, noon): Skate park grand opening! Now you can finally use the park. We’ll have dignitaries and the not-so-dignified cutting the ribbon and opening the park up. There’ll food, demos, merchandise, music, graffiti, etc. More specifics as the date approaches, but you don’t want to miss this.
IMPORTANT! After the construction is completed, the concrete needs to cure. This is supposed to take around 28 days. Please do not attempt to use the park after construction is done, because it will wreck the surface and we’ll need to fix it before the park is actually open.