The kids would have to wait almost an hour more before they were truly free to grind the rails and catch some air.
They sat on their bike seats or leaned on scooter handlebars as local politicians and community advocates took to the mic at the opening ceremony for a new skatepark and pump track in Lincoln this past Saturday.
But none had been waiting longer than Trevor Donegan, who at 15 years old, decided the time had come for Lincoln to have a skatepark, and emailed the town.
Donegan started skateboarding at only two. By the age of five, he was already dreaming up plans for a community skatepark. Little did he know then, that 16 years later, he’d be standing before the Ward 1 neighbourhood with a brand new skatepark in the background — a moment he said was “truly a dream come true.”
The Town of Lincoln council approved the 3.6-acre Rotary Park project back in 2019. Ground was broken this past spring.
With the skatepark and pump track marking the first phase of the park, pathways, shaded areas, a butterfly garden and play and fitness equipment will be added as work continues over the next year.
Speaking at Saturday's opening event, Town of Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton took her time at the mic to impart the value of civic engagement.
“This is how you get things done in your hometown,” she said.
“Children, patience is a virtue, money doesn’t grow on trees, you have to find people to help you — which is the case here today … it takes a long time.”
While progress on the skatepark was midway through, along came Adrian Pennachetti — “an enterprising young adult” — about the pump track.
“Adrian said, ‘mayor, you have to have one of these, there isn’t one in all of Niagara — Lincoln needs this,’” Easton recounted.
“What usually happens is council just turns their eyes and says, ‘It’s not gonna’ happen and the whole thing dies. But not this time.
“I want to thank Trevor and Adrian for their perseverance, because it is really import to be tenacious in these things,” she said.
While Donegan and Pennachetti may be the catalysts, there have been many others involved over the years, from town staff, to the Lincoln Uptown Skateboard Park Association, to the Rotary Club of Lincoln.
Past president of the club, Sue Foster, talked of the late Walter Mittler, a Rotarian who helped nurture and advocate for the vision of the park.
The Rotary Club is donating $100,000 — half for the skatepark, and half for playground equipment in the next phase — from community fundraising efforts like the annual Lamplighter Tour.
A ribbon was cut at both at the pump track and skatepark before 10-year-old Tokyo Olympic hopeful, Fay Ebert, took to her deck to demonstrate her skills. Kids and adults alike looked on from the sidelines before joining Ebert and, at long last, experiencing the park for themselves.
Jordan Snobelen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara this Week