ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - Bryan Bedwell watched young boys skateboarding on waves of concrete.
“It’s amazing. It makes we wanna cry anytime I come out here.”
He also watched volunteers working to finish the Peter Matthews Memorial Skate Garden in South St. Louis.
“He was a skateboarder, and he died in a car accident,” said Bedwell. “His friends and family came together and supported us a bunch and had a couple of fundraisers; raised a bunch of money for the park.”
Right on the corner of Morganford Road and Osceola Street, the new park will make life a lot easier for guys and girls who love to skate but would be skating illegally on city streets. Bedwell should know. He is head of the Kingshighway Vigilante Transitions, a group of skaters who built their first park under the Kingshighway Bridge to avoid street skating.
“You get tickets like that,” Bedwell explained. “You go to jail, possibly. Also, a lot of the kids are skating for transportation, skating up and down the street. It’s the same as riding a bike. You can get hit by a car pretty easily.”
The bridge is set for demolition and construction. The new park would have cost over a half million dollars to build.
“Because of the volunteers and donations, we’ve had people donate concrete. We had people donate rebar and all types of materials. Because of those donations, we have gotten it down to close to $30,000, $35,000.”
Just five minutes at the park, visitors would see the new construction is not just about the kids. It was about generations. Michael Blanford watches over his 8-year-old son, Adam.
”I’m really glad of it, because he is really helping me and I like it when people help,” Adam was proud of his dad.
Bedwell said he was proud of his volunteers who put almost five years of their lives into the new park.
“To see people enjoy it already is a pretty epic experience.”
Bedwell said group needs to raise money to finish the park, and then light and insure the facility.
To learn more about the Peter Matthews Memorial Skate Garden visit, click here.