New skate park near campus a hit

FAMU WAY Skateable Art Park. Photo courtesy: Lyneisha Lewis

A $2.8 million Blueprint project opened earlier this year, paying homage to Florida A&M University on FAMU Way. Skaters from different areas of Tallahassee have gathered to experience a new place to call home.

Since the opening of the skate park, many people have utilized this space.

Jamari Jones is a 22-year-old Tallahassee native who has been searching for a space to practice and enjoy skating without any restrictions.

“I usually went to Cascades Park or used the surrounding areas of my house, but there was always an obstacle stopping me from learning the basics,” Jones said.

Jones is a self-taught skater. He said the new park has opened the doors for younger skaters to learn different tricks and skills.

“When making time to go check out the park, I see younger kids having fun and learning the rails and waves of the pavement,” Jones said.

If you visit the park, you are likely to see skaters, BMX riders, people riding scooters, and individuals just doing stunts on the rails. People gather and cheer when a feat has failed as an accomplishment to get up and try again.

Imani Hanna is a 13-year-old BMX rider who visits the park every Tuesday and Thursday with her family. Hanna is a resilient teen who does let the older riders and skaters scare her from making the park her own.

“I want to improve my skills, so I come to the park and learn from the older people here and practice with them,” Hanna said.

Hanna described the park as a second family away from home. She said she’s loves how supportive they are of each other.

“My mom would bring me here every Tuesday and Thursday, and my uncle [skate park uncle] would be here ready to teach me new things,” Hanna said.

According to the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, the park consists of a 225-foot-long snake run, and there are two shade structures in the park. The park includes a competition-style bowl, a war memorial-inspired feature, curved banks and ledges with various textured stamping. It also includes A-frame with a shelf, pyramid hips with ledges, rails, a manual pad, and a snake gap with hubs. The finishing touch is a stenciled quarter pipe.

Since its opening, the park has been the main attraction to many in the Tallahassee area. With skaters and other individuals utilizing the park, they have built a bond and connection over the beautiful scenery. Locals in the area say that they enjoy the view, and that it’s the best thing that happened to their community in a while.