The Keene Skate Park opened on Saturday, July 26, 1997. The creation of the skate park was a 1 1/2 year effort which began when two youths wrote to the Keene City Council. As a result, the City of Keene approved the use of a piece of City property at the western end of the Commercial Street Parking Lot and appropriated $3,500 to be used as seed money. After that initial appropriation, a volunteer committee worked tirelessly soliciting donations and organizing fund-raisers. In addition to cash donations from many individuals, organizations and businesses, volunteer labor and equipment were provided by a variety of companies. Many of the materials used to construct the park were provided by suppliers at cost. Young people assisted by selling T-shirts at a store front, placing canisters in local stores, working in concessions at dances and helping organize a benefit concert.
The park offers a facility of various ramps, rails and inclines to interest both novice and expert skaters. A cedar rail and post fence has been erected around the asphalt pad. The Park was expanded in the summer of 1999 when some concrete quarter pipes and waves were added for novice skaters. The Park's dimensions are now 140 feet by 70 feet. Within the skate area are a half pipe and a number of street obstacles. The half pipe is 6 feet high and 20 feet wide. The platforms on the half pipe were extended in order to accommodate a 6 foot quarter pipe and a 6 foot ramp off of them. The street obstacles consist of grind rails, launch ramps, quarter pipes, a pyramid and a fly box. All of the ramps and quarter pipe surfaces have been covered with 14 gauge steel. Bleachers are provided at the park for spectators of all ages to enjoy this exciting activity taking place in the downtown area.
The central location of the park, at the intersection of Wilson Street and Gilbo Avenue, adjacent to the Commercial Street parking lot, offers accessibility and the potential for the downtown area to benefit from future activities at the park. What was formerly a neglected, overgrown lot was cleared, cleaned up and prepared for the park, enhancing the landscape in this highly visible downtown area. The prepping of this area was accomplished by parents, youths and donated equipment and operators.
The skate park is open from 8:30 AM till sunset each day of the warm weather months. Skateboarders, in-line skaters and stunt bikes are allowed inside.