Located almost precisely in the center of its 116.5 acres, Kendall Indian Hammocks Park contains one of less than a handful of skate facilities in Miami-Dade County open to all ages and skill levels.
Every day, skateboarders, inline skaters and BMX bikers converge on the 14,000-square-foot fenced-in area to sharpen their skills on concrete ramps, halfpipes, elevated surfaces and staircases. For them, it’s a veritable oasis in which they can communally enjoy a positive, constructive pastime disallowed in most public places.
In 2009, Miami-Dade Parks unveiled the first of several skate parks it would develop in the following years. The one in Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, opened in December 2011, was the fourth. Its construction was funded with $585,000 from Park Impact Fees, according to a press release published at the time of its opening.
The facility was initially operated by Sugar Drop Shop, a Miami-based skateboard management group that also oversaw similar spaces at Westwind Lakes and Country Village Park. The company, which secured a contract with the county, provided equipment rentals, lessons for beginners and charged $2 on weekdays and $5 on weekends for access. In 2014, however, the company pulled out and the skate areas were opened to the public for free.
Shortly after, several grind rails were removed overnight from the facility at Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, 11395 SW 79th St., according to skaters. Park management said it’s unaware of what happened to them. Some skaters believe metal scrappers are to blame.
A water fountain just outside of the facility’s entryway is also close to being clogged; its water seeps rather than shoots out. Instead of confirming a date for the fountain to be fixed, park management recommended skaters go to a nearby concession area and use the fountains there.
Visitors to the park will likely see a preponderance of adolescent and young men enjoying the skate facility’s creative topography; however, the area is open—and its frequenters are welcoming—to aspiring skaters young and old, male and female.
Kendall Indian Hammocks Park has many amenities: an 18-hole disc golf course, three playgrounds of starkly different design, several covered pavilions, barbeque grill pits, walking paths, an outdoor fitness area, four softball and baseball fields, nature trails, two soccer fields and a vita course. But the skate facility in its heart—the camaraderie it invites among skaters of all walks of life—is arguably its most unique and endearing feature.