Tuesday, May 21

Group petitions to save skate park in Palm Beach Gardens after ice rink project approved

A multi-million dollar facility that will include a new state-of-the-art ice rink is planned for Palm Beach Gardens.

While it’s generating plenty of attention, some current visitors to the park worry they’ll be left out, prompting a petition.

When you speak with skaters in the area, they all express a deep attachment to the Plant Drive Skatepark.

The park has been a meet-up spot for local skateboarders for years.

“We just came to the skate park one day because it’s open, free and easy to access,” Adam Cranmer, the founder of Save Gardens Skate Park, said. “I used to ride BMX as a kid, and it reignited my passion for BMX.”

That passion has made it tough for Cranmer to envision the area without a skate park.

The city of Palm Beach Gardens voted last week in favor of a new lease agreement with the Palm Beach North Athletic Foundation.

The focus is bringing a $40 million state-of-the-art ice skating rink on Plant Drive.

The rink will feature a full-service restaurant and sports bar, a retail store, a training space, an academy space and a medical area.

“The primary focus is youth of both hockey and figure skating,” Palm Beach North Athletic Foundation founder and president Michael Winter said last week. “We’re going to have enough ice for adult leagues and public skating.”

The organization said the project has the backing of NHL great Wayne Gretzky.

Cramner turned to social media to fight the project, creating a group called “Save Gardens Skatepark and Plant Drive Park.” The group has gained hundreds of signatures as they seek to keep the skate park and other outdoor amenities.

“I just felt like we had to activate and do something about it,” Cranmer said. “I felt like if I didn’t know about it, there’s probably other people and residents that don’t know what was happening.”

The Palm Beach North Athletic Foundation said they’re excited to introduce ice skating to South Florida.

The city of Palm Beach Gardens said in a statement that, “The P3 project creates an opportunity for residents and visitors to experience an exciting new recreational outlet.”

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