BAR HARBOR — Skateboarders, scooters and bikers of all ages have been enjoying the new concrete skate park on Park Street and Main Street every day since its completion earlier this month.
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday afternoon, the MDI Skatepark Association (MDISA) officially handed over the park to the town of Bar Harbor.
Several dozen residents gathered for the event, which included skating, food and music. Brown Family Farm provided lunch. Raffle items were donated by businesses, including Acadia Stand Up Paddleboarding, where skateboards are now available to rent.
When a team of skate park designers from Pillar Associates visited last year, MDISA board co-chair Katie Churchill said they were inspired by the mountains and oceans here and adjusted their design to fit the landscape. The new park includes granite benches and other native stone elements.
Town Councilor Matt Hochman, who was a skateboarder himself growing up in Bar Harbor in the 1980s, accepted the park on behalf of the town.
Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Jeff Dobbs also was on hand. He said he was thrilled to see the project come to fruition. “I’ve been part of Parks and Rec for 25 years,” he said. “Before this group got going about nine years ago, there was another group hoping to build a skate park. It’s been a long time coming.”
After the large “bowl” section of the park was complete earlier this month, the team from Artisan Skateparks added a small “street” section on the Park Street side, with a curb and metal rail that skaters use for tricks.
Some finishing touches are still coming. The MDISA continues to raise money for a brick path at the Park Street entrance, landscaping and maintenance. Construction costs were about $70,000.
Users of the park are encouraged to wear helmets. The park is covered under the same town liability protection as the athletic fields.
“It’s really what makes skateboarding great is the culture where everyone watches out for each other and cheers each other on,” MDISA board member Andi Pepler said.
MDISA plans to organize a stewardship committee to oversee maintenance and upkeep needs for the facility.