LANSING, Ill. (April 30, 2023) – The long stretch of grass at Park Plaza in downtown Lansing has begun a transformation into what will eventually be a skate park and pump track. Construction on the new park, which runs parallel to the Pennsy Greenway, started on April 3, according to a Lan-Oak Park District press release.
The release said the skate park portion of the park will be made of molded concrete and will include basins and ground features for skateboarders to enjoy.
Lansing currently has a skate park at Bock Park, which has been in place since 2001. The materials there are “worn and no longer address modern skating and biking trends,” said the release.
Plans for the new skate park started years ago, but were stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new pump track will be made of asphalt and include hills and valleys for bikers and other riders. The phrase “pump track” refers to the “pumping” up and down motion of a biker’s body as they navigate the course. This motion is enough to propel them through the track without pedaling. Though most often thought of as a bike track, pump tracks are also sometimes used by skateboarders and rollerbladers.
Completion of the skate park and pump track is expected this fall.
Park Plaza and destination parks
“Dividing the two amenities is a park shelter offering a shady resting spot, designed to replicate a train depot reflecting the history of the Park Plaza site,” the release said. The Pennsylvania Railroad, also called the “Pennsy,” once ran through Lansing, beginning in 1861. That rail line was transformed into the Pennsy Greenway bike trail that runs along the western edge of the under-construction skate park.
In 2021, the Lan-Oak Park District was exploring the addition of a synthetic ice surface to Park Plaza that would allow year-round ice skating. No mention of the ice surface was included in the press release.
The completion of the project will be another destination park for the Lan-Oak Park District, adding to “destination” amenities such as tennis (Rotary Park), pickleball (Copper Muggers Park), horseshoes and cornhole (Lan-Oak Park), a dog park (Bock Park), bocce ball (Potts Park), and others.
The Lansing Journal provided a video tour of Lansing’s destination parks in 2021:
- New skate park, sand volleyball courts, and basketball courts in Lan Oak-Park District’s future plans (October 5, 2021)
- Video: Nine parks in nine minutes (July 30, 2021)