Erie residents are asking for improvements to Columbus Park, asking specifically to expand the skate park.

There was $5 million of American Rescue Plan (ARP) dollars allocated to the City of Erie for much-needed improvements to public spaces. More than 2,000 city residents responded to the city’s parks and public spaces survey.

Hundreds are asking for improvements to the skate park at Columbus Park in Erie’s Little Italy. Chuck Nelson, city councilman, said he believes it’s important to invest in young peoples’ interests.

The owner of a local skate shop said expanding the skate park could help get more kids outside.

“I think this is about a quarter of the size that it was originally supposed to be. We’d like to make this the full length all the way over to the basketball court, maybe knock that whole back wall out, just extend this a lot more to accommodate more kids,” said Dan Parra, owner, the Isle Surf & Skate.

“What we’re seeing with skating, especially in an urban culture, it’s a lot different than the days I grew up with the skating. It’s a very different cultural thing, and I’m excited about what it could do for this neighborhood and the young people in it,” said City Councilman Chuck Nelson.

Other parks and public spaces will also receive funding. City officials are still looking over hundreds of survey submissions.