Positive Results for Acton: O’Grady Skate Board Park

Sun, 2007-01-07

bravo_skate1.jpg The O’Grady skate board park on Hayward Road has worked out well for Acton based on the number of kids I see using it every day. There always seems to be a lot of kids using it every time I go by from mid-morning until dark on non-school days. Sometimes there are lines of kids waiting a turn.

One attraction is the inclines and jumps. They are more challenging than the roads and sidewalks in town. But at the same time they are relatively tame compared to the courses used on TV events. Another attraction is the surfaces of smooth concrete without holes or random bumps. On balance, I think the skate board park should be safer than skateboarding on roads and sidewalks in some other parts of Acton. The main difference is that there are no cars, so an inadvertent spill or movement will not result in a collision with a car.bravo_skate3.jpg

The skateboard park was conceived as a memorial for the late TJ O’Grady, a young man from Boxboro who was killed by a car while skateboarding along a road. Friends and concerned citizens realized that a safe place to skateboard would help to prevent similar tragedies, and the T. J. O’Grady Memorial Skate Park, Inc. fund was born. Much of the approximately $285,000 in funding for the park came from donations, with the Town of Acton appropriating $80,000 in 2001 and another $67,000 in 2004 from CPA funds (Community Preservation Act). The State of Massachusetts donated the one acre of land.

On June 23, 2007 there was a celebration of the one year anniversary of the opening of the park. The popularity of the skateboard park makes it clear that the skate board park is a good thing for Acton.