The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

Beloved Asheville skatepark finishes much needed renovations

Sydney Mason
Skaters Owen Kelly and Neptune Arrigoni posing at the newly renovated Asheville Skatepark.

The skateboarding community of Asheville largely contributes to the uniqueness of the town. Over the past few years, the community has come together to encourage the renovations of one of their favorite parks, the Asheville Skatepark on Cherry Street, previously known as the Food Lion Skate Park. 

According to Asheville city officials, this park was the first concrete skatepark in Asheville. It opened more than 20 years ago, in 2000. In 2014, the park suffered damages and was forced to close. Through the years, the park has seen a decline in cleanliness and overall safety. 

“It wasn’t really too popular with kids or even female skaters cause it’s kinda scary when there’s needles everywhere and things like that,” said UNC Asheville graduate and avid skateboarder Cassidy O’Neil. 

In 2021, Asheville Parks and Recreation staff met with skateboarders and other regulars of the park to discuss its future and how it can be improved. 

Feedback was collected from skaters, community members and skate shop owners through in-person meetings, emails and social media. Soon, the vision for the project was formed to create a safer environment that would attract any and everyone.

“Whenever there was a town meeting everyone would come together and show up. The input from everybody has been really great and if you look around it’s a reflection of everyone’s input and time,” O’Neil said. 

Construction began in March, and renovations were recently completed just last month. These renovations include a replacement of stairs and fencing, an addition of skateable bleachers, improvements to the upper plaza and wall murals by local artists. 

“We had people from across the state come work here, and we had local Asheville artists spray paint the entire place,” O’Neil said. “I think everyone brings a different interpretation, and it’s really cool to have that kind of creativity here.” 

The renovations reflect the community members’ hard work and dedication. These enhancements to the park made it how it was always intended, a valuable space for the community to foster their love for skating. 

“The skateboarding community here is a rare one that’s for sure. The people that are here just love what they do,” O’Neil said. “Kids get off school, and come here. People get off work and they still have energy to go out there and foster a love for skating in the community.” 

The park also introduced beginner-level obstacles in the upper section. The community not only wants to attract veteran skaters to the space, but also encourage new members to come and join as well. 

“The community is pretty inclusive and positive. There’s not really that ‘locals only’ mentality here that other places have,” said long-term skater, Owen Kelly. “I’d say it’s pretty wholesome.”


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Blue Banner Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *