Published On: Thu, Mar 24th, 2011
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Groundbreaking Ceremony held for Cherokee Action Sports Park

TEXT and PHOTOS

By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.

ONE FEATHER STAFF

                In a little over two months, Cherokee skaters and BMX riders will have a facility that rivals those found in larger, urban areas.  While construction is already underway, an official groundbreaking ceremony for the Cherokee Action Sports Park was held on Thursday, March 24. 

An official groundbreaking was held Thursday, March 24 for the Cherokee Action Sports Park. Shown (left-right) back row - Principal Chief Michell Hicks with daugther Marlee in front, Vice Chief Larry Blythe, Painttown Rep. Tommye Saunooke, Yellowhill Rep. B. Ensley, Birdtown Rep. Tunney Crowe, Big Cove Rep. Perry Shell, Chairman Jim Owle, Cherokee County - Snowbird Rep. Adam Wachacha, and Yellowhill Community Club Chairman Sylvester Crowe; front row - Justin Parris and Adam Smith.

               “This project was started many, many years ago and has had a lot of players,” said Principal Chief Michell Hicks who related the Cherokee Park will be equivalent in size to those found in Raleigh and Durham.  “Our facility is designed just as well and as big as what those guys have.” 

                The Park, set on a 3.5 acre tract off of Acquoni Road in the Yellowhill Community, is slated to be around 12,000 square feet and features both street and bowl or transition skating elements.  Last year, Chief Hicks submitted a resolution to fund the Park, which was unanimously approved by Tribal Council, for $600,000. 

Big Cove Rep. Perry Shell stands at the top of one of the bowls.

                “It’s always good to see a good community project come together,” said Vice Chief Larry Blythe.  “These are the types of projects that really mean something to this community.” 

                Jason Lambert, EBCI Office of Planning and Development director, said the project is set to be completed by the first week of June.  He thanked the input of the local skaters and bike riders during the design phase of the project. 

The large bowl promises to be challenging for even experienced skaters.

               “In my 6 ½ years with the Planning Office, we received better community input on this project than on any other.” 

                Lambert also thanked Stewart Engineering from Raleigh, the lead consultant on the project; Pillar Skate Designs of Tempe, Ariz., the lead designer on the project; and local firm Cherokee Enterprises, the lead contractor. 

                Yellowhill Rep. B. Ensley commented, “I just want to thank everyone involved.  Yellowhill sort of adopted the skaters when they moved the facility up here.  They really took ownership of the little skate park and I’m sure they’ll do that here as well.  It’s going to be a good project for all of the youth.”

                Sylvester Crowe, Yellowhill Community Club chairman, said that he wanted to give a lot of credit to Rod Cooper whom he contacted when he first had the idea of a skate park in the community.  “He (Rod) put a lot of effort in getting this started here.  He deserves a great hand.”

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