Best Downtown Olive Branch

Penn Valley Park Skatepark

Once upon a time, Queen Kay laid down her decree: There shalt be no skateboarding on city thoroughfares! Skateboarders skated anyway, with the knowledge that they were now being bad. But hark! A glimmer of light! Members of the City Planning and Development Department, neighborhood representatives, area skaterboarders and an imported skatepark design team came together with a plan, one that would not only help skaters congregate legally but also breathe life into a nefarious corner of downtown's Penn Valley Park. All they needed was money, so City Councilman Jim Rowland (whose son, it seems, is a skateboarder) kicked in $200,000. (Another $200,000 is on the way.) And so the skaters of Kansas City wait for all to turn out happily ever after. Once the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Commission puts the project out for bid, and once the ground is broken (in December, officials hope), it should take only eight weeks to build. Until then, the blueprint for Penn Valley's skatepark hangs in the window at Lovely Skateboards on 18th Street, where impatient skaters smudge the glass, tracing imaginary ollies with their fingertips.
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