A rendering of the project site for the skate park.

The City of Evanston hosted a virtual public meeting Tuesday evening to review the initial three concept designs for a new skate park at Twiggs Park.

If all goes according to schedule, the skate park will open in the fall of 2023. 

At Tuesday’s meeting, Lara Biggs, the city’s Chief Engineer; and Stefanie Levine, Public Works Senior Project Manager, gave opening remarks and then introduced Teska Associates, the landscape architecture firm working on the project.

The design team, Jodi Mariano and Heather Faivre of Teska, and Adam Eichorn of Spohn Ranch Skateparks went over the three possible concepts for the new skate park.

Mariano explained the recent survey sent out by the city in which participants were asked questions such as their preference of design, set-up and features of the skate park, which will be located at Twiggs Park, 1901 Simpson Street.

Survey respondents, of which there were almost 700, shared the features they most want to see in the park, including: 

  • An all-ages facility
  • A park that’s safe and accessible
  • Good lighting
  • Well-placed obstacles that support good flow
  • A bowl plus a combination of street plaza-style features
  • Places both to be active and to watch or rest
  • A facility that’s attractive and unique to Evanston
  • One that’s durable and maintainable
  • A park that’s inclusive in its amenities 
  • One that brings the Evanston skating community together.

On Tuesday, attendees got another chance to give feedback on the different concepts presented. While the three concepts don’t differ much, the main difference is the location of the bike path. For concept A, the bike path would be moved north of the park. Concept B would keep the bike path where it currently is, in the middle of the park, and concept C would move the bike path to the south of the park.

Participants went to mentimeter.com, an interactive website to give live feedback. After the event, Teska will condense the three concepts into two new ones based on the responses received. Concept C was overwhelmingly voted the favorite with 27 votes. There were two votes for concept A and three votes for concept B.

Participants also voted on shade structure, the beginning and the intermediate/advanced skate park features and other features they would like to see included.

Faivre read questions submitted via Zoom, including the process of creating the skate park as well as features of the skate park itself.

One participant asked whether local artists of color would be selected to help improve the aesthetic of the skate park and create murals.

Levine said although that is not something the team delegates, it could be a future opportunity.

Participants vote on their top preference for a bowl at the skate park.

“As city staff, I think we can interface with the public art commission and discuss this as an opportunity site,” she said. “We are going to be creating surfaces that could be turned into art.”

Another participant inquired about the presence the skate park will have on the neighboring community.

Levine commented, saying that the park is not located as close to residences as other Evanston parks but Biggs said that the park is still accessible to Evanstonians.

“This site is in a sweet spot that just does not usually exist in the city of Evanston,” Biggs said. “We feel pretty comfortable that as far as providing an outlet to recreation, that’s going to occur whether it has a dedicated site or not, and this will assist with increasing the number of recreational opportunities for skaters.”

The next public meeting on the topic is scheduled for April 5.

Sam Stroozas

Sam Stroozas is a reporter and the social media manager at the Evanston RoundTable. She covers small businesses, social justice and human interest stories. Contact her at sam@evanstonroundtable.com and...