Local skateboard enthusiasts restore damaged park

Staff Report
Last month parish residents Devan Landry (left), Josh Dowiatt and friends used power sprayers and graffiti removal cleaner to clean up the Ascension Parish Recreation Department Skate Park in Gonzales.

Local skateboarding enthusiasts, led by parish Board of Adjustments member Branden Bennett, Josh Dowiatt and Devan Landry, rolled up their sleeves recently to power spray and scrub graffiti damage made to the Ascension Parish Recreation Department Skate Park on Irma Boulevard.

Local residents went out of their way to help restore the skate park back to something that we all can be proud of,” said Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa. “These men and women have been proud of this park from the very beginning and their efforts should be applauded.”

Located between the National Guard Armory and the Council on Aging, the skate park was a dream project of Bennett and friends more than ten years ago.

About eight years ago we started a non-profit organization called YOURS Foundation, to get skaters of all ages interested and supportive of the park actually being built,” Bennett said.

Parish recreation officials, along with city officials and members of YOURS Foundation held a ribbon cutting in February 2012.

Bennett and his friends met on Saturday, April 16 with cleaning supplies and pressure washers to remove graffiti from the concrete-designed park.

Today was productive,” Bennett said. “We had a lot of people show up to work and took it upon themselves to make a difference in our community. It still needs some TLC, but for the most part, this park brings a lot of joy to a lot of people.”

Bennett said he believed skate boarders were not the ones causing the damage to the park.

It’s most likely kids who have zero affiliation with skateboarding or the park,” Bennett said. “We want the community to help us spread the word and stop this from happening.”

Bennett and his friends bought two gallons of $80 per gallon graffiti removal cleaner. They also brought rock fill to fill a mud hole in the middle of the park.

Bennett said the group used pressure washers and brooms to remove profanity and disrespectful writing from the concrete jumps.

I’d like to thank Josh Dowiatt, Devan Landry, Conor Cannon, Preston Hale, Bryce Bourque, Jonathan Molley, Glenn Daniels, Keegan Ballard, Alexis Marchand and Travis Guidry for their hard work,” Bennett said.