South Kingstown Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce the completion of a long-awaited, bowl feature at the Old Mountain Field Skate Park in Wakefield. To acknowledge the many individuals, businesses and organizations that contributed to the “bowl project”, a Ribbon Cutting event has been scheduled for Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 11am at Old Mountain Field Skate Park, with a rain/snow date of Saturday, February 9. The entire community is welcome to attend. Recreation Commission Chair, Will Litvin, commented that “the Recreation Commission is extremely pleased with how the project evolved as a collaborative effort between invested community members and the Town. The return on investment will be immeasurable. We also understand the importance of offering diverse outdoor activities beyond mainstream athletics. The skate park continues to offer that opportunity for residents and visitors of all ages.”
The “OMF Skate park” which was constructed in the spring of 2000 with the assistance of a grass roots committee of local skaters, has evolved over the years, doubling in size, with new features added, and the park developing into one of the most unique of its kind. In 2014, the Skate Park Committee was re-established with some of the original members as well as new, younger skaters with a vision for an expanded and upgraded park. The committee worked directly with Park Superintendent, Rex Eberly, to develop a multi-phase plan for the park that included re-purposing the former in-line skating rink, constructing a transition ramp to connect it; improving existing features; and finally, adding a bowl feature that would raise the park profile to a new level. Said Superintendent Eberly, “the improvements to the skate park over the past several years including the most recent construction of the bowl have all been true community projects. It has been a pleasure getting to know, and working with, many of the local skaters to make the ‘OMF’ a destination skate park. These projects would not have been possible without the fundraising efforts of the committee, the design and construction by Jus Martel, along with the hard work and expertise of the park maintenance staff especially Brian Kelly, Tim Dubee, and Steve Miller. The greatest reward for me is seeing how much fun skaters are having on the new and improved features. “
The Skate Park Committee, in conjunction with the Friends of South Kingstown Parks and Recreation, held several fundraisers to offset the cost of the project. In particular, Evan Mansolillo, who at the time the project was started, was a student at the Met School in Newport, was the driving force behind multiple fundraisers at the park and throughout town. Through Evan’s leadership and strong ties with community businesses and residents, the committee raised over $20,000 for the bowl. Of his outstanding leadership achievement Evan expressed, “this project has meant the world to me, and it has taught me more than any other experience.”
The new bowl, along with previous feature improvements, was constructed by local contractor, Jus Martel, owner of Pivotal Concrete. Jus is known for his years of experience and exceptional design and construction work on many private and public skate parks across the region. “I grew up skateboarding in South Kingstown, and have spent the majority of my life here. As well as being a big part of my life, skateboarding and surfing has been a big part in the development of this community in the last 40 or so years. In the past few years with the combined efforts of the Skate Park Committee, the Parks and Rec Department and the community, we have worked towards a great space for skateboarders to congregate, and finally, South Kingstown has the skate park that it deserves.” The final product is a 6-foot deep, 32 x 24 foot, kidney shaped, concrete bowl, featuring an exterior transition ramp for unbroken flow to and from the rest of the park features.