$800,000 skateboard park opens in southwest Detroit

The Detroit News

The city of Detroit celebrated the completion of an $800,000 skateboard park Saturday as part of the ongoing improvements at Riverside Park in southwest Detroit.

The 15,000-square-foot skatepark and a dog park are the second phase of park improvements at the park at 3621 W. Jefferson and West Grand Boulevard. The skatepark was funded mostly by the city oalong with a grant through the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation’s Built to Play Initiative and the Tony Hawk Foundation. 

“If we want our children to be more active in our communities, they need more safe and accessible places to play. Skateparks are a great solution and they’re what kids are asking for in our region,” Jim Boyle, vice president of Programs & Communications of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, said in a statement.

Skaters try out the Riverside Skatepark before its opening ceremony on Saturday.

The park opening, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., is part of a weekend celebration of International Go Skateboarding Day and features skateboarding clinics, demonstrations by professional skateboarders, music and food. Non-skaters can enjoy basketball, soccer and a doggie day spa, courtesy of Canine to Five.

The skatepark was designed by Grindline Skateparks, Inc.  KEO and Associates served as the general contractor on the project while the Smith Group JJR designed Phases 1 and 2 of the park.

"Having this wonderful new feature, thanks to support from the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation and Tony Hawk Foundation, will be a key piece of making Riverside a premier city park for the residents of southwest Detroit," Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement.

The park is located near Detroit's Ambassador Bridge.

Riverside Park improvements are expected to cost a total of $13.2 million and are slated for completion in 2021. They include:

• Phase 1: Soccer fields, basketball court, playground, vault toilet, softball field and picnic shelter (completed)

• Phase 2: Skatepark, dog park and picnic shelter (completed)

• Phase 3: Sledding hill and amphitheater (start of construction scheduled for summer 2020 )

• Phase 4: Walking track, large playground, splash pad and additional picnic shelters (start of construction scheduled for summer 2020 )

• Phase 5: Large picnic shelter, boat launch and small beach playground (Under construction now; opening scheduled for spring 2020)