News

Marion opens first skate park at Butterfield Park

Other park projects include accessible playground at Lowe Park

Dane Bolden, 13, of Cedar Rapids tries a trick at the skate park in Butterfield Park in Marion on Thursday, May 23, 2019. As the city’s first skate park, it was designed with all skill levels in mind. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Dane Bolden, 13, of Cedar Rapids tries a trick at the skate park in Butterfield Park in Marion on Thursday, May 23, 2019. As the city’s first skate park, it was designed with all skill levels in mind. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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MARION — Skaters in Marion have a new place to try out their craft.

The city of Marion opened its first skate park earlier this month, a $150,000 facility at Butterfield Park. The new skate park was part of a 2016 parks master plan and had been in demand for quite awhile, said Seth Staashelm, deputy director of the city’s Parks And Recreation Department.

“It provides different recreation opportunities for kids,” Staashelm said. “It’s been getting a lot of use. Not just kids, but also young adults, too, utilizing the facility.”

The project was funded through a local-option sales tax, according to a news release from the city. The cost included grading and cement work on sidewalks.

Butterfield was chosen for the skate park for a number of reasons, Staashelm said, including its location in a neighborhood with many families and the amount of green space. Since the skate portion opened, features like the park’s gazebo are being used more.

Marion chose Spohn Ranch Inc., a designer and builder based in California that specializes in skate parks, to develop the one at Butterfield. The city used a few local subcontractors as well, Staashelm said.

The skate park is concrete with ramps and rails, among other features, for both beginning and advanced skaters.

“It’s also designed so if we ever do want to expand in the future, we have the capability of doing that,” Staashelm said.

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The parks master plan was developed with public and steering committee input, according to the release.

Other parks projects included in the city’s current capital improvement plan are a fully accessible playground at Lowe Park, in addition to a restroom, pavilion and green space.

Additionally, city staff are planning for the second phase of the fitness trail at Hanna Park, which includes putting in fitness equipment. Staashelm said it includes an additional 1,000 feet of trails and pieces of equipment for resistance training.

“We’re really just going to target a lot of our young adults to adults for that area and be able to enjoy the outdoors while also picking up a good healthy lifestyle,” Staashelm said.

l Comments: (319) 339-3172; maddy.arnold@thegazette.com

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