NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A group of New York City skateboarders are celebrating.

Their “turf war” against a re-vamp in a Manhattan park is over.

Jumps and tricks will go on at Tompkins Square Park. Hundreds of skaters and supporters showed up Saturday. They had planned on rallying against the parks department’s plan to cover the area with synthetic turf.

“We we’re looking for replacement fields because the East River Park will be under construction and we identified this asphalt location here at Tompkins Square Park,” parks commissioner Mitchell Silver said.

Rendering of the planned parks along the East River. (Credit:

The northwest area of the park has become a popular, informal skate park.

The city was going to turn the area into athletic fields for kids’ sports.

They’re needed because of a flood protection and improvement project at East River Park, but skateboarding regulars weren’t ready to give up their spot — so they spoke up.

“As soon as we made that announcement people started saying ‘you don’t know the history… but there is a culture of skating here that goes back generations,’” Silver added.

They signed up too. Over 30,000 of them joined a petition and it worked.

(Credit: CBS2)

The news the park would stay as is turned Saturday’s planned protest into a party.

“No more rally, just celebration. Super hype, super proud, this is exactly how it’s supposed to be in New York, freedom,” Stephanie Tonnoir said.

So Tompkins Square Park is off the list, but there are still four other city sites on it. They are all slated for synthetic turf installation as early as this fall.

St. Vardan Park in Murray Hill is one of those locations – upsetting some of the basketball players CBS2 spoke to.

“For the city to take this court away from me that I’ve been playing on for 20 plus years is almost insane to me,” Cesar Pozo said.

The hoopsters plan to take a page out of the skater’s book.

“I heard there was a petition that the guys did not too far away from here at the skate park so we’re gonna get that going,” Christopher Wright said.


Leave a Reply