Charles River Conservancy Lynch Family Skatepark

Lynch Family Skatepark

In 2015, the Charles River Conservancy celebrated the opening of the Lynch Family Skatepark in North Point Park in Cambridge. Fast forward to today: the park, owned and maintained by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), hosts a vibrant community of skate park athletes, creatives, and recreational visitors.

Photo by Julia Figueiral (@julia.figueiral), POLISHED Magazine(@bostonpolished)

EVENT: SOCIAL JUSTICE SKATE JAM

October 6, 4-8pm

The Charles River Conservancy joins the skate community at the Lynch Family Skatepark to host an evening to talk about spatial justice and social resilience. Share your voice with the Charles River Conservancy and community partners, the Hip-Hop Collective, and Community Art Center in Cambridge. Learn about local organizations and people who are dedicated to skate access, advocacy and art, and even participate in a hip-hop open mic!

Have a question about the event? Contact Taylor Leonard at tleonard@thecharles.org

PUBLIC ART PROJECT

In partnership with DCR and the skatepark community, the Charles River Conservancy is excited to pursue an opportunity and consider a transformation of the Lynch Family Skatepark using public art as a conduit for social resilience. With the goal of supporting and strengthening the park’s physical and social infrastructure, the CRC envisions a community-led design process that will culminate into a public artwork that celebrates park users and invites new audiences to the riverfront.

PROJECT GOALS

  1. Produce art that is reflective of the skatepark and its community.
  2. Support physical space by fostering a sense of shared responsibility for its care.
  3. Enhance social resiliency of the park by creating dialogue among users that can ensure the skatepark is a welcoming space for all.

FORUM SERIES

Leading up to the development of a selection process for a public artwork, the CRC will host a winter series of community visioning forums. These forums are designed in partnership with project co-leaders and local organizations to engage the wider community in open conversations that address the complexities of social, spatial, and environmental justice at the skatepark. The Charles River Conservancy and project co-leaders are eager to listen to park users and visitors’ preferences for change, discuss place-based inequities, and develop a selection strategy for an impactful public artwork at the Lynch Family Skatepark that represents the community which designed it.

SUPPORTERS

We are thankful for the Cambridge Arts Council who have made preliminary spatial justice conversations with partners possible with generous donations.

Interested in supporting community visioning forums on Spatial Justice? Contact Laura Jasinski at ljasinski@thecharles.org

PARTNERS

We are grateful to our partners who have joined initial spatial justice conversations and have openly engaged with the CRC to organize next steps in developing community visioning forums.


A NOTE ABOUT PARK OPERATION: The Lynch Family Skatepark is owned and maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The park is open from dawn to 9:00 pm. Lights were installed during the fall of 2018 to allow for park operation past dusk through a partnership between the City of Cambridge and DCR. Safety gear is strongly encouraged, and while you are in the park, you are recreating at your own risk.


LOCATION

The skatepark is located in East Cambridge beneath the access ramps to I-93’s iconic Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge. It is also adjacent to the North Bank Bridge, a newly constructed pedestrian bridge connecting North Point Park in Cambridge to Paul Revere Park in Charlestown.

PRESS

Video Coverage of the Skatepark Opening, November 14, 2016
“Elevating Boston’s Skateboarding Scene” created by Stantec
Cambridge Community Television Coverage
“Skateboard Paradise” on WCVB Channel 5
Lynch Foundation and GLP Creative Video

May 1, 2016
Scout Cambridge: Lynch Family Skatepark Builds a Community On Wheels

November 20, 2015
Cambridge Chronicle: Skatepark opens in North Point Park
TransWorld Business: Vans Joins Lynch Family Skatepark at its Opening
Charlestown Patriot-Bridge: Skatepark Opens, Haven for Those with Wheels
NewBoston Post: Shredding New Worlds at the Lynch Family Skatepark

November 14, 2015
NorthEndWaterfront.com: Skaters Rejoice at Opening of Lynch Family Skatepark
Boston Globe: Lynch Family Skatepark opens in Cambridge
WBUR, Photos: Designer Tests The Air Over New Skate Park
On CBS: Renowned Sculptor Helps Make Boston Skatepark a Reality

November 5, 2015
Press Release: Grand Opening: Lynch Family Skatepark
Boston Globe: Skateboarders do test run at Lynch Family Skatepark
On WBUR: ‘Psyched It’s Finally Here’: Long-Awaited Cambridge Skate Park To Open In November

BACKGROUND

The Lynch Family Skatepark, adjacent to North Point Park, was a major capital project of the Charles River Conservancy. What began as an idea by renowned sculptor Nancy Schön, famous for her Tortoise and Hare and Make Way For Ducklings sculptures in Copley Square and the Boston Public Garden respectively, was carried forward by the Charles River Conservancy with major support from the local skateboarding community. (Hear from Nancy herself about the importance of this park, courtesy of New England Cables News.) The planning began in 2000, and in 2004, the Conservancy began to raise funds from individual donors and foundations for the project.

The Conservancy hired Stantec to design the park, which was then constructed by ValleyCrest Landscape Development with specialty work completed by California Skateparks. The “wheel-friendly” park is designed to accommodate skateboarders, BMX riders, and inline skaters and will include access around the skate plaza for spectators who wish to watch the athletes in action. Now that construction is completed, the park has been turned over to the CRC’s project partner, DCR, who manages the public facility.

Skateboarder at the Lynch Family Skatepark. Photo by Topher Baldwin.

The skatepark has the capacity to support community clinics and events, as well as world-class competitions. The skatepark is designed as a one-of-a-kind facility that captures the creativity and aspirations of skaters from around the region, featuring design input from more than 400 local skaters and skateboarding professionals, including Boston area native Andy MacDonald (Andy was crowned as skateboarding’s World Champion eight years in a row in the World Cup Skateboard Series). Thanks to their involvement, skateboarders of all abilities now have the opportunity to experience street, transitional, and bowl elements throughout the park. The skatepark also includes replica features of unique skate areas throughout greater Boston to acknowledge local lore and pay homage to Boston’s skating community.

This video, produced by an Emerson student, tells the story of the formation of the idea of the Lynch Family Skatepark and showcases its wide usage today by people of all ages in the Boston area.

Kids who earned skateboards through a collaborative program of the Conservancy and Youth Enrichment Service (YES). Photo by Topher Baldwin.

To learn more about the skatepark or to make a press inquiry, please contact us at crc@thecharles.org.

Lead photo by Michael Silvano Photography.