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Bid approved to build skate park in Hernando

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HERNANDO, Miss. -- Hard work is on its way to paying off for a group of skateboarders in Hernando.

The group raised big bucks to build a skate park, and with a little help from the state, it's becoming a reality.

"In 1968, my 17-year-old brother committed suicide because he had no outlet," Edward Pidgeon said.

His brother's death was one of the toughest moments in Pidgeon's life.

"I had to have a way to get that out because I lived in a rage," he said.

He was able to let go of his rage through skateboarding.

"Skateboarding basically saved my life," Pidgeon told WREG.

Pidgeon's experience with skateboarding is the reason he's passionate about his non-profit organization, Hernando Skates.

Hernando Skates operates a skate clinic for young people in a parking lot once a month.

The organization has pushed to turn an empty lot off of U.S. 51 into a skate park for four years.

"There's no reason for there not to be optional outlets for the kids that aren't (in) sports," Pidgeon said.

The Hernando Board of Alderman approved a $130,000 bid on Tuesday night from a company in Oregon to build the park.

The proposal included a rendering of how the park is expected to appear.

The money to pay for the park came from a $100,000 state grant and independent fundraising.

The park will take up about 5,500 square feet at Renasant Park.

The city told WREG it was still working out all of the operational policies, but hopes the park brings more people to Hernando.

"People like to travel around and hit the different skate parks. So we're looking forward to seeing who all might come out and give it a try," Dolly Bruchin, with Hernando Parks and Recreation, said.

Organizers said this approval is only the first stage.

Hernando Skates is still raising money in hopes of expanding the park.

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