Ramps, steps, rails and approximately 7,000 square feet of space to skate.
It’ll all be part of the new skate park coming to Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood, according to Islip Town Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs deputy commissioner Deirdre Wahlberg.
“We know that parents are currently traveling to other townships [so their children can skate],” Wahlberg said in an email. “We’re excited to soon be able to provide a creative and safe skating experience, right here in the Town of Islip.”
The proposed 12,000-square-foot neighborhood skate park will be located on the southwest side of Roberto Clemente Park on Broadway Avenue, formally known as Timberline Park. Plans call for a “plaza-style” design, Wahlberg said, which traditionally includes equipment like ramps, steps, rails and more.
The effort to construct a skate park in Islip Town has been in the works for a “number of years,” Wahlberg said. Supervisor Angie Carpenter and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs commissioner Thomas Owens met with interested Islip residents in March 2018 after they had addressed the town board.
It got the gears in motion. By January 2019, the town hosted a design kickoff meeting for the park.
The new skate park is being funded in part through a $250,000 state and municipal grant secured by New York State
assemblyman Phil Ramos from Dormitory Authority of the State of New York for Islip Town.
Wahlberg said shecould not yet provide the total or estimated cost of the project since it has not yet gone out to public bid for construction. For the same reason, she said the town does not have an expected completion date for the project. The project has “tremendous benefits’’ for the community, Wahlberg said.
“For one, it allows our youth to use their energy in a positive direction and creates camaraderie,” she said. “It also provides a safe, designated environment, away from vehicles in the roadway, where youth can be active and creative.”
In November 2020, a group of Islip School District students – Jackson Doring, Luke Smith and Nate James – formed a petition in an effort to construct a skate park in Islip Town. The petition, directed to the Town of Islip, gained over 500 signatures.
However, the skate park was already in the works prior to the petition. Back in 2018, a different group of Long Islanders addressed the town board to request a skate park.
This was news to 12-year-old Jackson, who had grown used to the 16-mile trek from his Islip home to Tanner Park in Copiague, or the roughly 18-mile car ride to Veterans Park Skate Park in East Northport.
When he discovered the skate park was coming to Brentwood, his initial reaction was an ear-to-ear grin. Then, the surprise hit him.
“I was like, ‘Is this really happening? Where? When? What?’” Jackson recalled. “One hundred percent, I’m going to use it.”
Jackson added that he and his friends were interested in reviewing the park layout to ensure the design allows for optimal usage.
“A lot of parks were made by non-skaters, and those parks have no flow – you can’t cruise around,” he said. “They have good obstacles, but you need to stop throughout.”
When Jackson’s mother, Suelyn Doring, told her son about the park, he said he hopes that residents will respect the new space. “They know that people can vandalize it, and they want the community to take care of it,” Suelyn said.