Drew P Cottam Memorial Skate Park In Orchard Beach, Bronx NY

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On September 30, 2018 Drew Preston Cottam passed away at the young age of 18 in an automobile accident on the Hutchinson River Parkway between City Island entrance ramp and the I-95 NB exit ramp. His passing has inspired his family and a group of neighbors and close family friends to gather in attempt to build a Skateboard / BMX Bike park in his honor close to our home. 6.44 million skaters in the U.S., a number that has grown steadily the past three years, according to the Outdoor Foundation. But only 22 of the country’s 100 biggest cities had one or more skate park per 100,000 residents in 2016, according to The Trust for Public Land. New York City placed 77th, with only 25 skate parks serving a population of more than 8.5 million, including four in the Bronx. Many younger City Island residents are not allowed to leave the island without a parent's company. Building a skate park in orchard beach might inspire kids and young teens to try a new sport that requires determination, physical strength and self control. The social benefits of a skate park are also endless, as the atmosphere of parks like this always seems to be positive. The action sports community thrives on progression of the younger generations. With that in mind, the beginners can always benefit from the advice and "tech tips" of those who have been involved in the sport for a longer time frame. 

Orchard Beach is prime real estate for a skate park for many reasons. Some of the major benefits include:

1)Parking infrastructure already exist and is regulated by NYC Parks Department and can support large volumes of patrons

2)Close proximity of NYPD facilities and strong Police presence in the Park already exist, which could help prevent the negative behavior skate parks are notoriously stereotyped with

3)"If you build it, they will come" mindset does exist! With such a large skateboard and BMX community in the Tri-State area, many people will be attracted to a new destination to practice their maneuvers and perfect skills. 

4) Just past the tennis courts at the Orchard Beach Boardwalk exists a roller hockey rink and large empty blacktop lot that has not seem to have had a purpose for many years. The flat already surfaced ground would be a prime location for an extreme sports facility

5) Pelham Bay Park, which includes orchard beach, consists of 2,765 acres of land. It is hard to believe that the largest public park in NYC does not have a single space for skateboarders and BMX riders alike to practice and train their skillset. 

Drew was a great skateboarder and even more skilled on his BMX bike.  He had tons of videos on his cell phone of him doing all sorts of tricks both in parks around the area and on the streets. He could usually be found grinding the ledges behind PS 175, the railing of the post office or the white curb in front of Carmen's gas station. He wanted nothing more than to have a skatepark he could ride his bike to without having to ask for a ride, or take public transportation. 

 

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