May 7, 2018

“Graveyard Run” Skate Park Opens in Rodanthe


The new skate park in Rodanthe celebrated its grand opening on Saturday, May 5, and plenty of kids of all ages stopped by to take a test spin.

The 7,000 square foot park, which was designated as the “Graveyard Run” at the celebration, is a long anticipated project for tri-village area residents – especially the youngest ones.

“The Graveyard Run gives the kids here an outlet without having to drive 30 miles north, or 23 miles south to Buxton,” said Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo Community Center Board Chairman and project orchestrator J.W. Kierzkowski. “And all of the kids – young and old – are very appreciative. It has been used constantly since it opened.”

The Graveyard Run is located on the northern edge of the Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo Community Building, and was designed and built by established skate park developer Artisan Skateparks of Kitty Hawk. Artisan Skateparks has built a number of parks in the northern Outer Banks region and Dare County in the past few years, as well as the recent Fessenden Center skate park in Buxton.

Kierzkowski and his wife attended the early Fessenden Center skate park planning meetings, in fact, before coming up with a game plan with the Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo Community Center Board for their own addition on the northern end of the island.

“We had two meetings up here, and we invited the local kids to provide their input,” said Kierzkowski, “And the kids definitely had an idea of what they wanted.”

From there, the skate park developer took these ideas into account, and the final skate park was born, with construction beginning in late November, 2017.

The name “Graveyard Run,” which was kept a relative secret until Saturday, is a nod to several landmarks in the immediate area. The small and recently fenced-in gravesite of William D. Pugh, who was born in 1818, is located adjacent to the skate park, and the grave played a role in the project’s ultimate design, as the skate park had to bypass the site. In addition, the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station, which performed a number of rescues in the Graveyard of the Atlantic and which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the famed Mirlo Rescue in 2018, is also located right across the street from the new park.

On Saturday afternoon, the skate park was clearly a welcome addition to the town of Rodanthe, as kids and adults alike whizzed along the different obstacles on boards and bikes. The Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Civic Association provided a tempting array of food, which included BBQ sliders, crabcake sliders, and hot dogs as well as ample refreshments, while Blurky's Quirky Friends provided some live music to set a festive atmosphere.

Skaters enjoyed the sunny weather, while families and friends relaxed in a covered tent and watched the action from a safe distance.

“Everyone says this is for the kids, but it’s for the families - everyone can come out and enjoy the skate park, and watch their kids have fun,” said a local volunteer. “This is a family event, and it’s a family park.”

And judging by the turnout at Saturday’s grand opening, and by the kids spending hours showcasing their skills, the Graveyard Run will be a popular family landmark for years to come.

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