Community-made skate park is ‘safe place for kids’ in Lents

Multnomah County

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — People in Portland’s Lents neighborhood transformed a spot once filled with tents, garbage and needles into a community skate park.

Neighbors in the area spent their own time and money to clean up the mess and build ramps for people to skate on. They plan to add more if they’re allowed to but were recently informed that the city may demolish it.

Portland Parks and Recreation told KOIN 6 News safety is their top priority and no decision has yet been made on whether to take action. However, city employees visited the skate park on Tuesday to inspect the community’s handy work.

Residents in the area said they’ll be upset if the city removes the skate park — dubbed Feral Cat Cove — and they worry the suspected drug activity and campers will move back in. It’s a place beloved by many, including 8-year-old Killian and his 10-year-old sister Irie.

“This is a really fun skate park, it’s really close to us, it’s just been really fun to skate it,” said Irie.

Another local, Josh, said the park is a good thing for the neighborhood “because it provides a safe place for kids to come and exercise and it also eliminates traffic of unwanted homes or campers.”

Liz Mckeever, whose kids use the skate park, said the spot is “an asset to the community at this point — not having all this unsafe garbage and needles laying around for kids to step on. I’d much rather they rode their skateboards all over it or skates all over it.”

Chuck Wells lives near Feral Cat Cove and said the street was “lined with RVs and cars, campers and all kinds of drug stuff going on over there, it was just terrible.” Neighbors said they called police but nothing changed until the skate park was built.

“Since this has become more regular, these problems have somewhat filtered themselves out, which is a testament to community policing, community safety and what the community can do when it comes together,” said a neighbor named Skye.

A group of people is planning to camp at the skate park overnight to make sure it’s not demolished. They’ve also started a petition and are holding a rally on Saturday to save the park.

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