Sunday, 25 February 2024

Bikers, skaters celebrate park's official reopening

Ricky Bush had some spectacular air time at Saturday's grand reopening event. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.


CLEARLAKE – A blur of endless, youthful energy set against a backdrop of music and blue sky was the scene at Clearlake's skate park on Saturday.

The Andy Johnson Memorial Skate Park had its grand reopening Saturday, following its repairs late last year.

The park was packed with teens, smaller children, parents and even a few dogs who came along for the fun.

Michele Bush, a skate park committee member whose son Ricky spent a good part of the day airborne on his BMX bike, called the day's turnout “awesome.”

Although it's been reopened since late January, Saturday was the day to celebrate the effort by the skate park committee and community members to get the park repaired.

It also was a time to make official the park's new name, in honor of skateboarder and BMX rider Andy Johnson. The 18-year-old died April 14, 2006, while on the way from his home in Eureka to visit a skate park in Portland, Ore. The City Council approved the park naming in January.

Ken Savin, another adult member of the skate park committee, said BMX riders, skateboarders, scooter riders and inline skaters participated, some coming from Lakeport, Kelseyville, Middletown – even as far away as Ukiah – to take part.



Many riders from around the county and Ukiah came to enjoy the park. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.


Four City Council members – Curt Giambruno, Chuck Leonard, Joyce Overton and Judy Thein – came to the 11:15 a.m. dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting.

Giambruno and Leonard, who stayed until early afternoon to watch the action, remarked that they were glad to see more riders using helmets and safety equipment, which has been a concern because of possible liability.

Last Thursday, the council approved skate park safety enforcement rules to ensure that safety equipment is used and that bikes and skateboards use the park on alternative days, although the two groups were riding together Saturday.

According to the requirements, if the alternate day riding rules aren't followed or helmets and pads aren't being used it will result in closures of the park for a day per violation.

Savin said new signs were posted Friday morning at the park's entrance, clearly outlining the rules and consequences of not following them.

The event also featured a raffle and booth selling T-shirts and other gear to benefit the park. Anyone wishing to donate can call Michele or Ricky Bush at 295-5754. Visit the park's Web site at

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



The new signs with Andy Johnson's name, as well as skate park rules, were posted late last week. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



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