After compiling a comprehensive parks and recreation plan in 2000, Westmoreland County realized that it was lacking street skating facilities for BMX bikers, skateboarders, and inline skaters. The nearest skate park was in Pittsburgh, about an hour away.
When community leaders decided to address the issue, they looked to community youth.
“There was a public design process. The kids got to choose what they wanted and really participated in the planning of it,” said Malcolm Sias, Westmoreland County Parks & Recreation Parks Planning Coordinator.
Sias asked those at the planning meetings to participate in the fundraising efforts for the park, challenging them to raise $20,000. Groups of teenagers organized car washes, concerts, and food stands. They returned with $25,000.
Peach Plaza Skate and Action Park was designed by a nationally-renowned skate park design group. With steps, rails, blocks, and quarter pipe transitions, it is oriented toward street skating. The park, located in Twin Lakes Park, officially opened in June of 2008.
“We had a huge turnout. I’ve seen 75-80 kids there at one time. They really work with each other and share the space. They helped plan, design, build and fund the park. They have a sense of ownership in it,” Sias said.
Additional access roads, parking areas, comfort facilities, and signs were constructed to further accommodate users. The work was partially funded by Growing Greener funds from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).
Located in the center of Westmoreland County and just off Route 30 (Lincoln Highway), Peach Park is accessible from all areas of the county.
The rest of Twin Lakes park offers two large lakes for fishing and boating, picnic areas, pavilions, brick walkways, and ADA accessibility.
“The park used to offer more passive activities like walking but now it’s really active. We want to have a winter sports area, dog park and a couple of playgrounds,” Sias said of future plans for the park.