Plans underway for a possible skatepark on Buffalo’s East Side

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– Kids on the East Side of Buffalo may soon get a new place to play.

Pastor James E. Giles of Back to Basics Ministry is teaming up with Project Play WNY, a division of the Ralph C. Wilson Junior Foundation, to bring a skateboard park to the area.

“All of our youth don’t play basketball and all of our youth don’t play football and some of them are very skilled at skateboarding and we want to encourage that diversity,” Giles said.

The pastor is working on putting together an exploratory community to plan where the park would go and to gauge community interest. Residents say the park would be a welcome addition to the neighboorhood and would help keep young people out of trouble.

“It’s something positive that the youth needs. They’re not out here doing negative stuff or vandalizing. They’re being productive,” said Luis Baez, who’s lived on the East Side for three years.

Giles says he’s also in talks with reps from The Tony Hawk Foundation to secure funding. The foundation recently paired with the Ralph C. Wilson Junior foundation to provide a $300,000 grant to the City of Lockport for its Railyard Skate Park Project.

“They are developing skateboard parks across the country so we’re looking to do something like that for Buffalo,” Giles said.

Anyone who wants to become involved in the plans can attend an interest meeting on Monday, December 16 at 5 p.m. at Back to Basics Ministry.

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