Last month a new feature was unveiled at Paul A. Westhoff Park in O'Fallon, Mo.: a 10,000-square-foot outdoor skate park. Dubbed Westhoff Plaza, the skate park is designed for skateboarders, BMX bikers and inline skaters.
"The new park offers skateboarders, BMX bikers and inline skaters a great place to test their skills," said Cindy Springer, O'Fallon's director of parks and recreation. "We anticipate that the public, including spectators, will get a lot of enjoyment of the park. Some of the main features that are incorporated in the custom-built concrete design are grind rails and ledges, a bank ramp, a quarter pipe ramp, a stairset, hubba ledges, a mini volcano, a jump gap and a six-foot bowl."
Joe Genens, 22, of Lake Saint Louis, has been a frequent visitor of the park since it opened on Nov. 17 and helped encourage the city to build the park. Genens, whose family owns Wood and Wheel Skate Shop, sees the park as a postive, legal place for skaters to participate in their sport. He hopes the new park will spur greater interest in skating.
"There's been a decline in skateboarding, and recently I've seen people get back into it," Genens said. Having a new place to skate is exciting for skateboarders who often have trouble finding places to practice their sport, he said. Now he frequently sees young riders at the park, and said, "It's kind of crazy. They're actually pretty good."
Westhoff Park, located at the intersection of T.R. Hughes Boulevard and Cool Springs Industrial Drive, is also home to Brendan's Playground, an inclusive playground where kids with and without disabilities can play together.