Taylor Perks, 11, of Ellicottville has been skateboarding for five years, and has been waiting about just as long for a skatepark in the village.
"It's very exciting," Perks said. "It's something I would have never imagined would have been in Ellicottville."
The village recently opened the New Car Dealers of Western New York Ellicottville Skatepark, designed for skaters of all skill levels.
What You Need To Know
- Skateboard parks continue to pop up in new locations across WNY
- The parks are designed for skaters who get chased off sidewalks and private parking lots
- The newest park just opened in Ellicottville
"It's just the excitement about it, when you learn a new trick and you just get this feeling in you and it's a good feeling," said Perks.
His mom Brenda was the project's lead advocate, who with her husband raised $250,000, an amount matched by a number of foundations.
"Extremely proud," said Brenda Perks, lead advocate of the Ellicottville Skate Park Project. "It's because of the community. To have this here, it's an outlet. It's good for them physically and for their mental health. It's an outlet for all these skaters. Now they have some place to go."
Village leaders say because skaters are not allowed on sidewalks or in business parking lots, the park is not only a place to gather, but it also boosts the local economy.
"It brings a lot of people to Ellicottville that then come to our shops, and shop," said Village of Ellicottville Mayor John Burrell. "And I always tell people if they lived in Ellicottville, they'd be home. So, maybe we'll get some new residents from it as well."
The park comes on the heels of the relatively new one in Jamestown, built for kids to ride their scooters. And for those like Kyle Peterson, who's been riding scooters for about 15 years.
"It's an awesome skate park," Peterson said. "We grew up street skating, which we get in trouble doing a lot. So, it's nice to have somewhere we can go and actually skate."
Perks credits her parents and the community for making the dream a reality.
"It's a very fun sport," Perks said. "And you can learn a lot and make a lot of new friends."
Foundations that helped fund the park include Cattaraugus Region Community, Ralph C. Wilson Junior, New Car Dealers of Western New York and the Skatepark Project, formerly known as the Tony Hawk Foundation.