Old Trenton landmark left for dead now a buzzing with life skate park

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An old landmark in Trenton, once left for dead, is now a skate park buzzing with life on a Friday night, all thanks to one person.

This was the dream of Jake McNichol when, back in January, he started Freedom Skate Park, a non-profit organization that has converted this section of the old Roebling Iron Works building into a skateboarders haven. 

“I've seen a lot of kids who maybe don't thrive in the classroom, maybe don't thrive on the basketball court or the football field,” says McNichol. “But they pick up a skateboard and it clicks.”

McNichol is a skater who grew up in nearby Ewing and has long worked for community organizations, but realized the kids in Trenton, where there's no public skate park, were missing the chance to learn the lessons that skating taught him.

“Thinking creatively, setting a creative goal for yourself and then working really hard and pushing through frustration pain and fear of trying something new,” says McNichol. “Yeah, it translates into the rest of your life.

Through partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club, the organization recently hosted 50 youngsters for their first lessons and to pick up their first free board.

Now they're free to come back on nights like this, with people of all ages and all walks of life shredding together and learning the lessons of the half pipe.

Freedom Skate Park is now holding regular events. Admission is free, you just have to sign a waiver.

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