Earlier than he died of suicide on the age of twenty-two, Lake Ridge resident Charlie Boone cherished to experience his bike and skateboard.
His mom, Wendy Boone, is hoping to honor his reminiscence and hold his passions alive by constructing a motorbike and skate park in Woodbridge.
She is president of the Charlie Boone Trails Memorial Basis, which is working to lift $500,000 for the park to be constructed on county-owned land on the northwest nook of Smoketown and Outdated Bridge roads.
“Charlie was at all times on his bike and on his skateboard; it was an enormous a part of his life,” Wendy Boone mentioned in an interview final week.
Charlie Boone was working as a high-level safety officer for the federal government when he suffered accidents in a bike accident. Despair that he suffered because of these accidents contributed to his suicide. However his mom believes he was additionally distressed seeing the grime jumps and trails utilized by him and his mates — and a long time of riders earlier than them — change into bulldozed and flattened.
“The final 10 years of his life was spent there and instantly it was gone,” she mentioned.
Her objective with the park is to supply a secure place for youth, as a result of she mentioned that’s an essential outlet for psychological well being.
“That facet of issues, which is a part of our imaginative and prescient, is to assist children, teenagers and younger adults dealing with difficulties with melancholy and anxiousness and assist forestall the rise of teenage suicide and self-harm,” she mentioned.
The inspiration’s plans for the 5.6-acre park embody a strolling path, picnic space, skateboarding bowl and half-pipe space, a pump observe, BMX trails and a car parking zone.
“We wished a bowl and areas with completely different ranges of issue for youthful children getting sea legs on a skateboard and in addition those who’re already seaworthy and might go and do methods and all that,” Boone mentioned.
She additionally envisions a memorial wall with names of younger folks locally who’ve died too early, whatever the trigger.
In November, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors agreed in a memorandum of understanding to permit the inspiration to construct the park and keep the strolling and bike trails as soon as full. The county’s parks, recreation and tourism division is ready to assist with different upkeep of the park, based on the settlement.
The county spent $13,800 for an environmental evaluation of the property, accomplished in Might 2018, and that shall be its sole monetary contribution to the park’s development.
In December, the county planning fee authorised a public facility evaluation for the park.
“So we had our marching orders, so to talk,” Boone mentioned.
NOVA BMX, a motorbike observe in Woodbridge, beforehand raised $3,000 for the inspiration, which helped pay for the park’s design by Pillar Design Studios, Wendy Boone mentioned. Pillar Design, an Arizona-based structure agency that works in motion sports activities tasks, supplied the inspiration the $500,000 value estimate to construct the park, Boone mentioned. The agency can be serving to with fundraising efforts.
Nonetheless, as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the inspiration needed to cancel deliberate fundraising occasions. Over the summer time, it pursued grants, Boone mentioned.
“We did as a lot as we might,” she mentioned. “We haven’t been idle.”
After 33 years in Lake Ridge, Boone and her husband moved to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in 2013, however she has remained lively within the Lake Ridge group and visits steadily. Their two daughters and grandchildren nonetheless dwell in Lake Ridge.
Boone’s daughter, Lynda Lee, is a enterprise proprietor and the inspiration’s vice chairman and has three youngsters, Lilyana, Brandon and Aiden. Boone’s different daughter, Leslie Schmidt, and her husband have two daughters, Leah and Hannah. Leslie Schmidt is a Lady Scout chief, her mother mentioned.
“This park shall be a spot to construct friendships and make recollections, as Charlie and his mates did,” based on the web site.