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Portland skaters start new petition to keep DIY skatepark from being torn down

Portland Parks and Recreation department declared the skatepark unsafe and asked skaters not to continue building the park because they had no permit or permission.

PORTLAND, Ore. — It's been a three-year fight to keep the city of Portland from interfering with a skatepark that was hand-built by skaters in the Lents neighborhood. 

The Feral Cat Cove Skatepark, named after the cats that hang out in the back, was built without permission from the city or a permit. 

Now the Portland Parks and Recreation Department has reached out to Culture and Livability Commissioner Dan Ryan to figure out the next steps. Ryan is suppose to be briefed on the skatepark on Thursday. 

During inspections, the park was deemed as unsafe. Seth Walton helped build the park and wants it to stay. He's been skating for almost a decade.

"If they are calling this all dangerous, how do they justify having all the camps next door and having them down the street," Ryan said. 

RELATED: Community-built skatepark in Southeast Portland draws big crowds

The park was not designed by an engineer for safety of materials or slope to skate on. If someone was to get hurt, they could sue the city for those reasons. The Parks and Recreation Department asked the skaters to stop building the park. Officials continue to say it's unsafe after more than one inspection. 

"We've heard a few times they want to tear it down but government moves pretty slow," Walton said. "We want to work with them as best as we can."

There's a petition with thousands of signatures in favor of the skatepark. Walton said the park provides a space for creativity and is a great place for exercise. A lot of the skaters that built the park are professional carpenters. 

"If they can give us a list of things we need to fix," Walton said. "I know right now we need to move all of our dirt, all of our storing materials, we need to move that to the side. We are going to rally the whole community together, shovels, wheel barrels, do what it takes."

The entire park was funded by skaters and Mark Bartholomew who helped build the park said it's brought nothing but positivity. 

"Why destroy something that people have dedicated their lives to," Batholomew said. 


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