The road to getting a skatepark in Montclair has been long and anything but smooth.
Montclair been talking about bringing a skate park to the town at least as far back as 2005, when Stephen Plofker and Bobbi Brown, who sponsored a skateboarding exhibition at First Night Montclair 2005, were in support of one at Erie Park. Some residents came out against the idea and the project stalled.
In 2010 Montclair parents and skateboarders rallied for a skatepark and teens “rolled” into a Montclair town council meeting, skateboards in hand, to plead their case. The issue ended up on the agenda before the Montclair Council and a resolution was passed in support of a skate park.
The 2010 resolution stated: [Montclair] being a community which values both natural beauty and public art and being aware that other skate parks have been designed to further such goals, the Township supports the efforts being undertaken by a volunteer coalition group to explore the development of a skateboard park or facility which would enhance the physical landscape, respect the surrounding community and provide an inspired artistic design.
Fast forward to 2019. Following a successful open skate session, organized by Montclair High School’s Skateboard Club and enjoyed by over 150 active participants, a whole new generation of skateboarders asked for and received support for a skate park from the current Montclair town council at its November meeting.
Skate Essex, a group also involved in efforts to bring a skatepark to Montclair, says the next step is to meet with the Council’s sub-committee to identify locations, both short term and longer term.
A petition, started by Montclair High School junior Antonello Teranna, served as a major catalyst for the movement. The goal was to get 5000 signatures and the petition currently has over 3000. To support a skatepark in Montclair, you can add yours here.
Bloomfield got a skatepark in 2008; and it was the grassroots efforts of young skateboarders back in 2004 moved that project forward.
Recently, Jersey City joined towns recognizing the need by breaking ground for a new skate park.