By Yesenia Aguilar & Luis Alvarado
After a long time of youth led planning and meeting, DiGiorgio Action Park in Arvin finally hosted a grand opening that drew dozens of skaters from around Kern County.
“The Tony Hawk Foundation is proud to support Arvin’s community and work with local leaders and nonprofit partners to help make this park a reality,” said Tony Hawk of the Tony Hawk Foundation. “The youth of Arvin brought it to our attention, so this is truly their skate park.”
Arvin City Mayor Jose Gurrola spoke at the event where he also gave the young people of Arvin that were involved in the planning of the action park signed certificates and plaques of recognition for their hard work and leadership.
City leaders said this park is an example of how community organizations can work together with local government to create healthier neighborhoods.
“The skate park will be a great asset for our community and will serve as proof that when we work together, engage our community, and make bold decisions, we truly have the power to make our vision for Arvin a reality,” said Gurrola.
Gurrola and other city officials gathered around holding scissors to cut the red ribbon signifying the official opening of the action park.
After the speeches and presentation of the opening, the activities of the event commenced. There was food to eat, airbrush tattoos, and lessons on how to repair skateboards and scooters.
People had the opportunity to enter in a raffle where there were prizes donated by The Tony Hawk Foundation. Prizes consisted of Tony Hawk skateboards as well as a signed Tony Hawk skateboard.
Professional skaters, some of which competed in the X Games, were in attendance and put on a show for all the other attendees. Once they finished, all skaters were able to use the skatepark with the pros. Though there were many falls, the pros and people surrounding showed encouragement until tricks were landed. The young people also had the opportunity to get gear signed by the professional skaters that were there.
The addition of the park to the community has allowed for a safer environment for people to ride skateboards, scooters and bikes. Prior to the skatepark, young people had to skate whatever they could find, whether that was random benches or ramps around town. Now they have a place that is completely legal for them to skate and have fun.
A 15-year-old youth who attended several meetings for the action park and helped gather young people to support the advocacy for the park said, “We always wanted a good park, and with this, it’s good for the youth and it’ll be here for our kids and grandkids to have a park to hang out at.”
The park is also located in an area of Arvin that is easy access for most people that live in Arvin.
Bryan Mendoza, 22, said that he likes the location of the park because it’s in the middle of the city and that everyone can ride their skateboards, scooters or bikes there. Mendoza also said that he would like more lighting at night as that’s the time he likes to go out there since less children are there.
Marcus Castro also contributed to this story.