City Celebrates Opening Of New Orleans’ First Public Skatepark
NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined City leaders, Tulane City Center, and local skateboarders to celebrate the opening of New Orleans’ first public skatepark – Parisite Skatepark (named for its proximity to Paris Avenue in the St. Bernard Area neighborhood) on Saturday.
It is an 18,000 square-foot park space that includes concrete ramps, cast-in-place concrete ramps, wood ramps, and rails designed specifically to accommodate skateboards, roller skates, rollerblades, inline skates, BMX bikes, and non-motorized scooters.
“NORDC Parisite Skatepark is another example of how we are building dynamic, new partnerships to create exciting recreational options for our youth across New Orleans,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “Skateboarding is a growing sport and this park space has been specifically designed for that purpose. I want to thank Spohn Ranch Skateparks and Tulane City Center for their generous donations to make this skatepark a reality and our local skateboarding community for their commitment to maintain and support programming with our partners at NORDC. By working together, we have created a unique place that can inspire our young people and give them an opportunity to stay physically active and out of trouble.”
Parisite Skatepark is open to the public Monday through Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and located under the Interstate 610 overpass at the corner of Paris Avenue and Pleasure Street in Gentilly next to the St. Bernard Recreation Center at 1500 Lafreniere St. It is the result of a unique collaboration between the City of New Orleans, New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC), Spohn Ranch Skateparks, Tulane City Center, and Transitional Spaces, a nonprofit formed by local skateboarders. These partners helped build this first-of-its-kind park in New Orleans at no cost to taxpayers, and have committed to working with the City and NORDC to help maintain the park and support programming.
District D Councilmember Jared Brossett said, “As the first public skatepark in New Orleans, I am happy to celebrate the opening of Parisite Skatepark in District D. This park will offer skaters a safer place to practice and enjoy their sport.”
NORDC CEO Victor N. Richard III said, “We’re proud of the dynamic collaboration that transformed a bleak urban space into a vibrant recreation destination adjacent to the St. Bernard Recreation Center. Thanks to the creative vision and generosity of each partner, the NORDC Parisite Skatepark will be one more bright light in the City’s recreation amenities for the people of New Orleans.”
NORD Commission Chairman Roy Glapion said, “Great cities are defined by many attributes including ample and varied recreational opportunities. We’re grateful for the addition of this professionally-designed skatepark that will provide a safe and welcoming place for physical activity and community building.”
NORD Foundation Chairman John Sibal said, “On behalf of the corporate and community leaders that serve on the NORD Foundation, I want to thank the organizations that united to advance this project from an idea to reality. The positive impact of NORDC Parisite Skatepark is a testament to the good that happens when people work together for the betterment of our communities.”
In 2011, the skate ramp structures were shipped down the Mississippi River by barge as part of the Mississippi Grind skateboarding event. Spohn Ranch Skateparks, a renowned skatepark design and construction company, donated the structures to the City to serve as the cornerstone of a future public skatepark. In cooperation with the local skateboard community, the City identified a space under the I-610 overpass at the corner of Paris Avenue and Pleasure Street as the permanent home for the skate ramp structures. Spohn Ranch blended the Mississippi Grind elements with new cast-in-place concrete and shotcrete, to create a state-of-the-art park.
To improve the site, Tulane City Center worked with skaters on a site master plan and designed and installed an entryway feature, seating, and stormwater gardens.
The local skateboarding community formed Transitional Spaces, a nonprofit to create safe, accessible, and educational skateboarding resources. At the encouragement of the City, the organization will also partner with NORDC to maintain, program, and develop Parisite Skatepark.
Aaron Spohn, president and founder of Spohn Ranch Skateparks, said, “We’re incredibly proud of our work under Interstate-610, but the true reward is knowing that we are providing the youth of New Orleans with a positive community space where they can legally ride their skateboards.”
Maggie Hansen, director of the Tulane City Center, said, “We are delighted to be part of this collaborative project, which is a great example of the power of communities to affect positive change in their built environment. Parisite Skatepark is a real asset to New Orleanians young and old and offers a space for recreation for our diverse community.”
Jackson Blalock of Transitional Spaces said, “The City of New Orleans recognized the local skateboarding community’s drive to create new forms of recreation space, and responded by joining forces. Together, we have created one of the most diverse and accepting skateparks in the country. Transitional Spaces looks forward to connecting park participants to City processes through further development of Parisite Skatepark and other planned skateboarding amenities.”
NORDC Parisite Skatepark is an unsupervised recreation space. Participants skate at their own risk. NORDC assumes no responsibility for any injuries resulting from the use of the park. Skating during hazardous conditions is strictly prohibited. Hazardous conditions could include, but are not limited to, rain, snow, ice, and darkness. Restrooms are located in the St. Bernard Center at 1500 Lafreniere Street during posted hours.
NORDC Parisite Skatepark Rules
• Helmets are required of all users. Helmets should fit properly and must be certified for skateboarding and/or trick roller skating.
• Users are strongly encouraged to wear properly fitting: elbow pads, knee pads, wrist pads, and mouth guards.
• The only devices allowed in the skatepark facility are skateboards, roller skates, rollerblades, inline skates, BMX bikes, and non-motorized scooters. • All motorized devices and vehicles are prohibited.
• Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
• No glass containers, food, or beverages are allowed on the skating surface.
• No littering. Please use trash cans.
• No drugs, alcohol, firearms, or weapons are permitted.
• No loud music, profanity, or disorderly behavior are permitted.
• Be respectful of neighborhood; do not block driveways.
• Be respectful of the park. No graffiti or tagging is permitted.
• Animals are not permitted in the skatepark.
• Users are prohibited from erecting unauthorized ramps, jumps, or making any other structural additions or changes inside or outside of the skatepark area.
• NORDC reserves the right to revoke privileges from any individual who does not obey these rules, demonstrates unacceptable conduct, or for any other just cause.
• All organized events must have written approval from NORDC.
• To organize an event contact NORDC at (504) 658-3062.