Forrest Peck Skate Park Official In Fall
Skateboarders who use Kamiloiki Skate Park daily may not realize how their ramp got built. It was, in part, because of a 10-year-old boy named Forrest Peck. And in September, the city will officially rename the skate park in his honor.
Peck’s family will donate a plaque to the park, and there has been talk of building a display box that explains its history. Peck died Feb. 4, 2013, in a California car accident at age 23.
“I’ll never forget both my brothers always wishing there was a legal place to skate in Hawaii Kai or anywhere close by,” said Forrest’s twin sister Emily Rose. “They dreamed about a legal ‘dream skate park.’ It was such an impossible dream to take on at the time, but Forrest didn’t see it that way.”
Forrest and his brother Shaun rallied their fellow skaters in 2000 to petition the city to build a safe skate park. They drew up plans, testified at dozens of forums and neighborhood board meetings, and collected 500 signatures before they got finally their wish.
“Forrest learned that it wasn’t a quick or easy road we had to take, but he always looked ahead to our goal of having a safe and fun place to skate,” said Shaun. “(The park will) teach the up-and-coming generations of kids to get involved with their community, no matter how big or small the project is.”
Mayor Jeremy Harris responded to the boys’ campaign, got the skaters a temporary wooden ramp, and accelerated the process. Kamiloiki Skate Park opened in 2002.
Forrest used the skate park constantly while growing up, according to mom Terri. “Skating was so important to him. He lived on his skateboard. He was going to go pro – everyone thought he was the best skater in Hawaii Kai. He would fall sometimes, but he’d still get up and skate.”
She asked the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board last April to consider the renaming, which inspired City Councilman Stanley Chang to take the next step and introduce the renaming measure. The council passed it unanimously last October.
“I think it’s just a wonderful tribute to his memory – a 10-year-old, walking the streets, soliciting support for a safe place for him and his friends and neighbors to play,” said Chang. “I think there are very few young people, few people of any age, who take that kind of responsibility and initiative to improve their communities.”
“Forrest was an activist,” sister Chelsea agreed, “someone who really cared about doing good and standing up against injustice. He was always like that.” She and the family believe that he leaves behind a love of life, a passion that they hope lives on in the skate park.
“He was the kid at the skate park that would let the young kids have a run, encourage and empower those who weren’t doing crazy tricks but just loving learning how to skate,” Emily Rose recalled.