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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Skaters rejoice as Twiggs Park facility rolls toward completion

Lily Carey/Daily Senior Staffer
The skating facility at Twiggs Park is currently in construction and will be open to the public in late 2023 or early 2024.

Quentin Herzig started skating when he was 8-years-old, but later stopped because there was no skate park in Evanston, and he didn’t know many other skaters.

During the pandemic, Herzig returned to skating. He noticed skate obstacles popping up at Ridgeville Park District and soon decided to build his own ramps and promote the park’s impromptu setup on Instagram. 

“Tons of people started coming, and that’s how I started to meet everyone and get involved,” Herzig said. 

Evanston Skates, a wheeled-sport community group co-founded by Ald. Juan Geracaris (9th), asked Herzig to help the organization push city officials to fund a permanent skate park, Herzig said.

After years of advocacy and planning, Herzig’s vision is close to becoming a reality. Construction of a skate park is finally underway at Twiggs Park at 1901 Simpson Street.

City Council approved a $1.76 million contract to construct the skate park in March, and construction began in July. The park will be a 10,000-square-foot custom concrete facility, featuring numerous obstacles, pathways, a shade structure and new landscaping.

 “We’re in the process right now of forming all the areas for the new concrete skate park, so there’s quite a bit of intricate formwork that’s being constructed,” Stefanie Levine, senior project manager for the city, said.

According to Levine, the park will likely be open to the public at the end of this year or early 2024, depending on weather conditions during construction.

Throughout the design process, the city and its contractors consulted the Evanston skating community. Levine said the skaters were willing to provide feedback on all the details of the park, from the heights of ledges to the appearance of the grind rails. 

“We had a pretty big group of community skateboarding advocates that were involved in the design process,” Herzig said. “(The contractors) really let us in, in the process and the design, and allowed us to really make pretty big changes. (They) were really good at incorporating the needs of every single person and the wider community.”

As the park nears completion, Northwestern students also look forward to visiting the park. 

Communication sophomore Lara Llamas has skated throughout her entire life. But her hobby came to a halt during college because she “didn’t have a place to go.” However, she has been following the progress of the skate park at Twiggs Park through Evanston Skates’ Instagram account. 

“I do feel like if there is this skate park, it will help so much to bring everyone together and also people will have a place to go instead of just being in the street,” Llamas said. 

Llamas plans on jumping on her skateboard as soon as the park opens.

Weinberg sophomore Alan Medina said the surfaces around Evanston and NU’s campus are not very skater-friendly. 

“There are a couple of hills or downward slopes in which we can do tricks and stuff,” Medina said. “But the fact that we have this new skate park makes (advanced skating) a lot more accessible to everybody.”

Herzig, Llamas and Medina hope the park will bring wheeled-sport enthusiasts together and create a central location for Evanston skaters.

“I think now (skaters) finally have a place that’s really for them,” Herzig said. “The city has been very considerate of the wants of the community and the skaters, and making it really like the best skate park it can be. So I think that really makes (us) feel included in the community.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @LilyOgburn

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