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Community-built skatepark in Southeast Portland draws big crowds

The project came together during the pandemic, put together by community volunteers.

PORTLAND, Ore. — I first spotted the "Feral Cat Cove" skatepark at the end of January as I rode my bike along the Springwater Corridor Trail near Southeast Duke Street and 100th Avenue.

I was surprised to see a bunch of guys working to smooth concrete, and met Alex Janega, who said there's no company behind the project -- just community volunteers.

"It's just a community group, loosely-organized group of people that come together to clean this area up and make a safe place for kids to get some recreational activity through skateboarding, biking... you name it!" Janega said. 

Portland has a proud tradition of DIY skate parks. One of the first, the Burnside Bridge skatepark, was built 32 years ago.

RELATED: Skaters want to keep city from tearing down DIY skatepark in Portland's Lents neighborhood

Janega, a contractor, said the effort began as the pandemic hit and the world came to a stop. 

"People were bored. A lot of people were laid off or out of work and so people just started coming together," he said.

So why this specific location? 

"There's one skate park way up over the hill on Mt. Scott that's pretty far. If you're a kid that doesn't have a drivers license, doesn't have a way to get there, that would be really hard to get there," Janega said. "This has always been kind of a dead zone for skate parks. The community took action into their own hands and, as you can see, there are people volunteering their time here to make a safe place for kids."

Credit: KGW

 RELATED: 'To have something for kids to do': Indoor skatepark opens in Washougal

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