Photo from petition.

DUNKIRK, Md. – Skateboarding is a popular hobby for many people here in Southern Maryland. However, many of the parks in this region are not up to par.

Whether it be the concrete quality, obstacle quality, or just the general lack of skateboarding parks overall, it’s safe to say that skaters in the area are not particularly happy with what is currently being offered.

The SOMD Skateboard Association has been putting in work to change that.

The SOMD Skateboard Association is a volunteer organization comprised of many skaters from around the area. They have been working with St. Mary’s, Calvert, and Charles County to advocate for renovations to the local skateparks.

They have recently been working with local Parks and Rec departments around St. Mary’s County to host events, such as free beginner learn-to-skate lessons. They are also planning on doing the same in Calvert and Charles.

As part of these efforts, they have recently started a petition online to advocate for renovations specifically for Dunkirk Skatepark in Calvert County.

“This park, in particular, is notable as the condition of the park is dangerous,” says Ryan Gebhardt, a member of the SOMD Skateboard Association.

“With the asphalt cracking and splitting, Bondo attempts at the bottom of dangerous obstacles, and the prefabricated metal ramps which have lost much of their coating leaving them slippery and dangerous. It’s time for them to be renovated… Calvert County Parks and Rec told us they are taking swift action to repair it, but we remain skeptical that their repairs will be sufficient.”

Gebhardt says the condition of the park has been the reason behind multiple injuries while skating.

“We’ve had people slip and break their wrists from the cracks… we’ve even had someone tear their MCL from slipping on one of the ramps,” Gebhardt told

Nicolet Skatepark in St. Mary’s County used to be known as one of the worst skateparks in the area. However, unlike Dunkirk, the park is fully concrete.

It doesn’t have any of the prefabricated metal ramps that have been worn down so much over time, which now makes Dunkirk the worst skatepark in the eyes of many community members.

“We don’t want them to just fix it up, we want them to make it a modernized and nice skatepark. Then it’ll match the rest of the park too because the rest of the park is beautiful, constantly being renovated, constantly being cleaned up, having nice big light fixtures… but then you notice up on the hill there’s this big slab of concrete with a big cage around it and some old metal ramps,” Gebhardt said.

Another reason this topic is so important to the local skateboarding community is that this is another thing kids and young adults have to do in this area that brings people together.

“Kids are going to be skateboarding whether or not you support it, and if you do not have a good local skatepark for them to go to they are going to find places behind local businesses, and places like out in front of the library in Prince Frederick,” Gebhardt said. “They installed all of those rails because kids were jumping down the stairs on skateboards… I believe this would be a huge positive, and the community in the comment sections also believe this would be a positive.”

As of this writing, 970 people have already signed the petition. The current goal is 1,000 signatures, but more are welcome.

If you would like to sign and share this petition, you can click here: renovate-dunkirk-skatepark

If you would like to learn more about the SOMD Skateboard Association and its events, click here: somd.skateboard.association

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  1. Pre-park days we would simply wax and smash any available curb or bench. Just believe that it was MUCH better than the damage my non-skate friends were doing. Support safe and healthy activities!

    1. a simple park with smooth ground and curbs would be better than what dunkirk is offering at the moment

  2. Thanks for publishing this article, hopefully it helps get Dunkirk skatepark the attention it deserves! I grew up skating there and made some lifelong friends through my experiences at that skatepark. I hope we can get changes made to provide an even better experience for future generations.

    1. THATS WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT NICK W! I love our skate community in SOMD which extends out to VA, PA, NC, DE, NJ, WV…… it’s all a positive force that can’t be stopped! PMA ALL DAY

  3. There was a day when skate parks were made, built, by private companies operating by charging a fee for each skater. Why is its government’s role to spend taxpayer monies for a very significant few? If skating was so needed and in high demand then that need would be filled by private enterprises. If those in Dunkirk, who have the the highest of incomes of all of Calvert, really want a skate park, then they should start a fundraiser and build their own. Time for Dunkirk to ween itself from the diminishing trough of government monies.

    1. You could make the same argument about public pools, parks, playgrounds, roads… Why have the government do anything when it could all be handled by private enterprise? Also private skateparks are and have always been very uncommon.

    2. Mr Wilson youre talking like its still 1995, a state of the art skatepark would get more use than the half a dozen baseball parks being built across the street.

    3. Dan Wilson, Ween is an amazing band, I think the correct word you’re looking for is * wean *

  4. I’m sure the 855ers will get their way like they always do! There so much we do for all children instead of a skate park! Calvert definitely needs more for children to do!

  5. FINALLY! We always avoided that janky park.
    Dan Wilson, private skateparks cost an incredible amount to insure and repair, a lot of skateboarders can’t afford a private park fee, a parent of a smaller child might not want to either considering how long they may be there….. parks don’t last unless it’s a major park like Vans or Woodward…. I’ve seen it since the 80s. It’s called Parks and Recreation, they cover so many activities and more on the horizon, try to not get so outraged about people having fun, keeping busy and staying out of trouble.

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