HOLMBERG: Skaters fought the law and won their park

Posted at 12:50 AM, Jul 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-31 08:29:23-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--For awhile, this group of skateboarders have been squatters on a tennis court in Carter Jones Park on 28th Street in South Richmond.

I joined them a year ago as they skated their homemade ramps and held their turf. "There were more of us than them," Jamal Jordan remembers.

Now they finally have their own concrete skate spot, believed to the first real one in the city.

Granted, towns like Ashland have had them for years. And cities like Virginia Beach have several, each  larger than the small, sweet spot in the busy park.

Skater Patrick Holmes figures Richmond should have been the first, instead of the last. But they're all grateful that their extended skate family finally has a place to call home.

Downtown Richmond is known for it's illicit street skate spots: the ledges on S. 7th Street, the nearby parking garages, the State Library and numerous other spots where dodging police and building security guards are part of the arsenal of moves.

The skaters say spots like the new one keep young people out of trouble and in shape.

And it's spreading. You could see neighborhood kids joining the skaters at the busy new park.

Watch how they challenged the law, and it all came together-- in our video report above.