For the past three years, Pop’s Skate Park has been a refuge for skateboarders of all ages.
Located on the corner of East Hazzard Street and Trenton Avenue, the small skate park is a part of a larger recreational area, which takes up about half a block in the heart of Kensington.
“We come here for the convenience,” said Kensington resident Nick Lamboy, 20, who has been skating at Pop’s for a year and a half. It is one of the few skate parks in the city. Aside from Pop’s, the nearest skate park is Whitehall, which is located in Carmella Playground, four miles northeast in Frankford.
Exit Skate Shop and the New Kensington Community Development Corp. collaborated with various organizations to build Pop’s. According to the NKCDC, it was built to “provide safe recreational activities for neighborhood youth, as well as showcase the strong community surrounding the playground.” Volunteers put over 2,500 hours into the park’s construction.
A defining feature of Pop’s is the number of children who spend their days in the park. “It’s a perfect spot for kids,” said Neil Patel, 21, who has been skating at the park for three years. The park is close to a number of grade schools, including Kensington School and Hackett Horatio B School, offering children a relatively secure place to go and spend their free time.
“Sidewalks are super important because that’s where kids play in the cities,” Patel said. “That’s all there is, but when you have something like this you don’t have to play on the sidewalks.”