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Skateboard park designer to meet with boarders

A skateboard park in St. Cloud, Minn., which was designed by the same firm that is creating the Charles River Skatepark.ASD/Stantec

Skateboarders love tricks, but Mike McIntyre’s might throw even veteran thrashers for a loop. The new lead designer for the city’s long-awaited skateboard park is famous for creating landscapes filled with trees, grass, and bright colors — in lieu of drab concrete and asphalt — for boarders to have.

“We are not creating a skatepark,” he says, “we are creating a park that you can skate in.” But first, he wants local skateboarders’ help. McIntyre’s firm, Action Sports Design/Stantec, and the Charles River Conservancy, which is funding the $2.5 million skatepark, will host a public brainstorming session in the Boston Public Library’s mezzanine room on Sept. 19 at
6 p.m.


Some preliminary designs for the park will be rolled out for the audience to critique, with everything from half-pipes to railings to grass and park benches up for discussion. Skateboarders from throughout Greater Boston — be they ages 10, 20, or 50 — are invited, with a few celebrity boarders, such as X-Games gold medalist Andy MacDonald and rising pro Anthony Shelter, both Massachusetts natives, expected to attend.

After weighing suggestions, McIntyre’s firm will present a more definitive design at a follow-up meeting at the library on Oct. 10.

“The bottom line is if you are generally interested in using this facility, and want to have a say about what goes in there, show up to the meeting,” he says. “It’s ‘OK guys, you ready?’ Because this is it.”

The Charles River Skatepark was first proposed a decade ago, but has only recently received state approvals to begin construction. Expected to be the largest facility in New England, it will be located in Cambridge adjacent to North Point Park, the new North Bank pedestrian bridge, and a future EF Educational Tours office building with a restaurant overlooking the action. It should be open by next fall.


“We’ve been seeing parks pop up all over Massachusetts and New England, so it’s like, when’s the Boston park happening?” says Broderick Gumpright, owner of Orchard, an Allston skateboard shop. “I can’t wait to use the thing.”

For more information see www.thecharles.org.

Peter DeMarco can be reached at demarco@globe.com.