Coleman Playground Slated for Improvements
Nestled on the border between the Lower East Side and Chinatown, Coleman Playground is quite popular among local skateboarders from around the Five Boroughs. Besides casual play, the skatepark also hosts a number of events throughout the year, most notably the annual Harold Hunter Day. But now some changes are afoot down under the Manhattan Bridge.
Last night was the Community Board 3 Parks and Recreation meeting to discuss plans for the site. A non-profit design services firm called Architecture for Humanity and Nike have collectively conceived a proposal to redesign the beloved skatepark. These two organizations recently awarded Steve Rodriguez, a well-known skateboarding advocate and founder of 5boro skateboards, a GAMECHANGERS grant, which will help aid in the reconstruction of the park.
GAMECHANGERS is a campaign to encourage community organizations to empower youth through sports by proposing programs that help spur social and economic development.
So popular is the GAMECHANGERS organization, that in 2009, proposals were received from countries as far away as Kenya and South Africa. Recent examples include the Skateistan Indoor Skate Facility in Kabul, Afghanistan and Carver High School in New Orleans. Preeti Sodhi, former CB3 Community Planning Fellow, is working with Architecture for Humanity on this project.
Some proposed improvements to Coleman Playground include updated obstacles, repaving the asphalt, a fenced-off area with benches that are already in place, and possibly a multi-use park/dog run.
-Written by Andrew Cohen