City threatening removal of community built skatepark in Lents neighborhood

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 10:26 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A petition to keep a DIY skatepark around that was built in the Lents neighborhood during the pandemic is nearing 3,000 signatures.

Community members say the City of Portland has threatened to remove the park citing safety concerns.

The community, kids included, hand laid the concrete that has now become “Feral Cat Cove” off SE 100th Avenue and Duke Street.

Nick Asfour’s son, Eli, was among them.

“They’re out here learning how to pour concrete and they’re skating at the same time,” Asfour said, “and building a big sense of community between the youth.”

“This is a group of skateboarders that came together and built a skatepark in a super underserved area,” Theo Hendrix, who helped with the skatepark, added.

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Portland Parks & Rec says when they became aware of the skatepark, they asked them to stop building in the natural area while they assessed it. The department says safety is their top priority. They say they found what they call “unsafe elements,” and now they’re deciding how to proceed.

Meanwhile, the neighborhood says it’s far better than the alternative of what used to be where the skatepark now sits.

“Before skateboarders came and did their thing here,” Hendrix said pointing towards the skatepark, “this was just all tarps and drug use. The whole surrounding neighborhood was pretty scared because it wasn’t a pretty scene.”

Asfour says their community is actively trying to get rid of the surrounding trash and drug use.

“If the city did anything, I don’t think it would be very cool.”

“If they want to call this dangerous,” Hendrix said, “I don’t know what safe is.”

Feral Cat Cove skateboarders say they’re willing to work with the city and hope that they can come to a common solution to keep the skatepark around.