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Venice Skate Park Gets Buried

*This story will be constantly updated with new info & photos as we get them.*
*New updates will always appear at the bottom.*
*LAST UPDATE: Sunday 12:30PM, 4-19-2020*

On Thursday morning, the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks started pouring sand into the Venice Skate Park.

While out filming the morning surf for our daily Instagram Stories, our shooter noticed some bulldozers dumping sand on the skate park and started shooting it.

Several employees were shoveling sand into all areas of the park, while the bulldozer dumped sand along the skate park's rim walkway and into the street section. And of course, as seen in our Instagram Stories, they were getting all sorts of harassment from a handful of skaters and non-skaters.

This is temporary, the sand was put into the skate park to prevent people from skating it. The skate park has been closed for several weeks now due to the stay at home orders, but too many people have been skating it, and just plain hanging out in it. So the Department of Recreation and Parks decided to do more, since the caution tape and signs didn't work.

We asked Lance LeMond, someone who has been involved with the skate park since before it was built and now works for the Parks & Rec, about this and his reply was that they are just going to put enough sand in there that will keep people from skating it.

We saw that cardboard was placed over the all the park's drains with sandbags to hold them down. But the cardboard pieces were not taped down at the edges, so let's hope the method they chose works.

According to the Department of Recreation and Parks, the weight of the sand should not be an issue. They are not putting in an amount that will cause damage to the skate park.

We also noticed that the city is now taking notes on how people at the beaches are following the social distancing guidelines. They have been watching the numbers of people wearing face masks compared to those that do not. The news networks keep doing hit pieces on how people at Venice Beach are not following the guidelines, even though we keep catching all those same reporters and cameramen not following the orders themselves.

There is no info on how long the sand is going to be in place. Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti did announce that "large gatherings" including sporting events may not be approved until 2021. With the large crowds that this skate park gets, it might be till then.

UPDATE: Friday 10:20AM, 4-17-2020

More sand being added on Friday, and @WahineKaii snapped this photo (below) of the bulldozer inside of the skate park moving sand around the street section.

Photo by @WahineKaii

The Venice Skate Park is not the only the park having this done, the same thing already happened to the San Clemente Skate park

Photo by Ryan Mata

The San Clemente Times reports: "On Monday, the City of San Clemente poured 37 tons of sand onto the concrete surface of the Ralphs Skate Court off Avenida La Pata as part of an effort to deter skaters from visiting the park during the coronavirus pandemic."

It is probably a god bet to say the Venice Skate park will end up looking like that.

UPDATE: Friday 5:30PM, 4-17-2020

Photo by Stu Munde

There's an aerial photo (above) of the skate park on Friday.

UPDATE: Friday 5:45PM, 4-17-2020

The Patch reports:
"Residents have complained that groups of people still gathered in Venice, and weren't taking the stay-home order and social distancing preventative measures serious."

We saw it almost daily, group just hanging out at the park, not keeping the six foot distance from each other, challenging the police when told to leave, etc...

UPDATE: Saturday 12:30PM, 4-18-2020

Photo by HUNTER W E ! S S

Rose Watson, the Director of Public Information at City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation & Parks made some statements on the dumping of sand in the Venice Skate Park.

Watson said Department of Recreation & Parks has filled skate parks with sand in the past in order to keep people from using them before construction has been completed.

She said so far, just the skate park in Venice has been laden with sand, but Department of Recreation & Parks will fill other skateboard facilities if people are seen gathering during the Safer at Home orders.

"We're doing this for our safety, their safety and the safety of others," Watson said. "When this is all over, trust me, we will open them, but right now it's important for them to not use the skate parks."

Meanwhile, the big network news stations are scrambling to get photos of the park:

And for now, the word we were given is that they are done adding sand to the skate park, but if people keep skating it, more will be added.

UPDATE: Sunday 12:30PM, 4-19-2020

More updates will be added as we get them. Working on saving all the Instagram Stories clips and creating one video for them all too.

For more of our coverage of the Coronavirus lockdown, closures, and how our local surf community and businesses are doing, CLICK HERE


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