HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Daphne Skate Park in Laurel is officially open.
The community gathered at Daphne Park Thursday to unveil a skate park that has been years in the making.
Parks and Recreation Director Elvin Ulmer says when he started working for the city in 2001, a skate park was something he wanted to see in Laurel.
“This was actually one of the first projects that I was trying to put together because when I came to work for the city, all of the skaters were skating downtown and anywhere that they can, and actually they had a makeshift plyboards skate park right here,” Ulmer said.
Today, the Daphne Skate Park features brand new cement bowls, designed by the city’s skaters.
“We sat down with the local skaters and they looked at it, they added some stuff, they took some stuff away, so we built what the local skaters wanted,” Ulmer said.
The funding mainly came from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. The Tony Hawk Foundation also donated $5,000 to help build the park.
Skateboarder Nicholas Bailey says he’s excited to see a town support their skaters.
“I think what the Mayor and the City of Laurel is doing it’s great,” Bailey said. “I think the rest of Mississippi should kind of reflect and give skateboarders some more places to do what we love to do.”
People of all ages and skill levels can enjoy the park.
“The skate park is so much fun,” Bailey said. “You know, we get to come out here and kind of clear our heads and do what we love to do in our free time, and I think it’s a great environment.”
The Daphne Skate Park is the first of its kind in Laurel.