Five years of labor from a now-17-year-old skateboarder culminated Friday, August 18 with the dedication of the new skate park at Harry Tood Park in Tillicum. (For more pictures from the dedication, click here).
When Ryan Wilmott was just 12-years-old, he went to the Lakewood City Council to thank them for building the Bridgeport Way skate park, but as a resident of Tillicum, he couldn’t use it, because he couldn’t get there.
That simple, yet profound, gesture kicked off five years of work by Ryan, the Parks Department, the city of Lakewood, Tillicum Neighbors Association, and even the federal government.
Ryan skated through a red ribbon to officially open the park. When asked to say a few words, Ryan offered, “Stay safe, have fun and keep it clean, or else!”
Mary Dodsworth, from the Lakewood Parks Department, noted there is still a little work to be done. The skate park is located on the tennis courts. One tennis court will remain in place, so a fence will be installed. Additionally, the surface will be updated and another skate park component still needs to be installed.
“We decided to dedicate prior to the park being completed, because we knew we’d never be able to keep the kids off it,” noted Dodsworth.