Edison skate park to reopen this month after renovation

Staff Writer

EDISON — Area skaters and BMX bikers have reason to celebrate. Their stomping grounds are set to reopen, better than before.

Township officials will unveil the newly renovated municipal skateboard-BMX facility 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 28 at Papaianni Park, across from the Municipal Complex.

“The skate park was completely redone,” Edison Recreation Director Denise Halliwell said. “Everything is new.”

The improvements are the result of a $150,000 matching grant from the county’s Open Space, Recreation and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. Halliwell noted that Freeholder Charles Tomaro was particularly helpful in securing the grant.

The township covered the other half of the renovation costs.

Mike Vallely, an Edison native and professional skateboarder, will be on hand to cut the ribbon at the refurbished park’s rededication ceremony.

Widely known as frontman of the hardcore punk band Black Flag, Vallely, 44, is also an actor and stuntman.

According to Halliwell, Michael Schwarz of Police Benevolent Association (PBA) Local 75 organized the event, and the PBA chapter is sponsoring it.

Mayor Thomas Lankey and officials from Edison and Middlesex County, along with members of Edison PBA Local 75, will also attend.

The park was first built in the Municipal Complex in 2001, using local funds. According to Halliwell, it is one of the busiest parks in town, and equipment there had become worn from extensive use.

“If these kids could go 24/7, they would,” she said. “It’s constantly used. It’s the busiest little corner of Edison.”