First free public skate park coming to Chatham County - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

First free public skate park coming to Chatham County

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A local non-profit group is looking to give kids and adults a one-of-a-kind experience.

Over the last nine years, Chatham County Skate Park Supporters have worked to make the first free public skate park in the Savannah area a success.

The skate park sits inside Lake Mayer Park, and the land is being leased from the county. Donations and grant money are covering the cost, which will total just more than $200,000.

Whenever we hear elected officials talking about curbing crime involving young people in Savannah and Chatham County as a whole, a frequent solution is finding things for teens to do through work or extracurriculars. Supporters of this park know the skate spot will fall in line with that need. 

"There's really no age boundary with skateboarding. And that's one of the cool things about it is we all feed off each other, and learn from each other," said Ben Maher with Chatham County Skate Park Supporters.

Maher said the group has gotten support from county leaders, and even Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Jack Lumpkin, who has pointed out before the power of programs and activities for teens and the correlation with dropping crime numbers. 

Maher said, "We need more things like this. If you build more parks, you have to spend less money on more prisons...that's property correlation there."

According to Metro, right now we are seeing a drop in juvenile crime from this time last year. Of the 287 juvenile arrests this year, 10 were for violent part one crimes. 

"Anything to keep kids off the street. I know this isn't necessarily in the inner city of Savannah, which is unfortunate because I think the inner city of Savannah could use a skate park as well," Maher said. 

Florida company Team Pain Skate Parks is behind the design and construction. From start to finish the project is expected to last five to six weeks. 

Skate Park Supporters are still in need of donations to finish the final phases of this project, which again, will be free to the public and benefit the whole community. To donate, click here.

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