Lynchburg Skate Park now has a new half-pipe thanks a local woman’s efforts to remember her son

Digital Originals

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – On Wednesday, the Rotary Centennial Riverfront Skatepark in downtown Lynchburg finalized a long-awaited new half-pipe. This new feature at the skatepark was constructed to remember one of Lynchburg’s own, Ryan Massie.

On July 13, 2018, Massie was killed in a pedestrian-related crash. After the incident, Massie’s mother, Selena Blankenship, came up with the idea to do a fundraiser and give back to the skateboarding community.

“After the accident happened, I immediately wanted to make Rivermont Avenue safer, and that kind of stalled, and so then I came up with the idea, along with Mr. Covey to — hey, how about do a fundraiser and give back to the skate park community?”

Selena Blankenship – Ryan Massie’s mother

Facilities Supervisor for Lynchburg Parks and Recreation, Howard Covey, spoke with local skaters and asked what they would like to see done with the skate-park.

“The replacement of the half-pipe feature, which Amazement Square had built one out of wood and ply-wood that had deteriorated over the years and had to be removed. They wanted the half-pipe back. That was the number one thing we kept hearing.”

Howard Covey – Facilities Supervisor – Lynchburg Parks and Recreation

This past December, the community came out to support Blankenship’s efforts to get this new half-pipe made.

“We held a concert, a local concert down at the Lynchburg Armory and three local bands, was either three or four local bands, all friends of my son, participated in that and that raised I think a little over $5,000.”

Selena Blankenship – Ryan Massie’s mother

The City of Lynchburg was able to match Blankenship’s fundraiser by way of its Park and Recreations Community Improvement fund.

“The total cost of the feature is $31,000, and I think the quality of what we’ve got here will far outlast me if not most all of us.”

Howard Covey – Facilities Supervisor – Lynchburg Parks and Recreation

Many in the Lynchburg skater community are excited for the Rotary Centennial Riverfront Skatepark to reopen this weekend.

“I’m very excited about the new half-pipe that’s being put in. That was what I grew up skating was the half-pipe, and that was everyone’s favorite.”

Jeff Gray – Owner – Scene 3 Skateboard / Bike Shop

“There’s community in skateboarding and I think that there was a period our local skate community was looking for a place to go and I think that this place serves as a home to a lot of people.”-

Tabitha Abbott – Chair of the Advisory Skate Park Committee

If weather permits, Lynchburg Parks and Recreation hopes to have the skate-park reopened by Friday at the latest. However, city officials ask that everyone practice social distancing and safety measures while enjoying the skate-park.

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