NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - For most people, it's just a nondescript patch of concrete to walk on. But for skateboarders, it is a kind of Mecca, a place to skate, chat and chill out, a training facility for learning new skills and tricks.
However, if the New York City Parks Department gets its way, that skater's haven in the northwest corner of Tompkins Square Park will be replaced with synthetic turf as part of the nearly $1.5B overhaul of East River Park, part of an effort to make a "greener" New York City.
Skaters who use that section of the park say that this move is just one more example of how the city's Parks Department has been against them. They say that every so often, they will come and take away their barriers and boxes, discouraging them from skating. However, they are not letting their home away from home go without a fight, putting together a petition with over 15,000 signatures to #SaveTompkins.
The Parks Department told FOX 5 NY that "the decision to install turf in the designated location in Tompkins Square Park in 2020 wasn't made lightly. It is part of neighborhood-wide enhancements being made to provide supplemental recreational space for the community writ large during the reconstruction of East River Park."