a map of the marathon community park site
A very preliminary design for the redesign of Marathon Community Park. Among the suggestions at the recent workshop was to move some features to other city park locations to support as many youth sports as possible. PLATFORM GROUP/Contributed

On Dec. 7, the city of Marathon hosted a workshop with Platform Group to discuss a complete redesign of Marathon Community Park. Phase 1 of the redevelopment is the rebuild of the skate park, which closed permanently due to structural and safety concerns in July 2023. 

Both City Manager George Garrett and Platform Group’s Tito Porrata emphasized that the workshop was for data collection and public input. Before any phase of the project moves forward there will be at least one more workshop, plus the required approval from Marathon City Council.  

This was the second public workshop for the skate park, now called a wheel park as it is suited for skateboards, scooters, rollerblades, etc. It was the first public workshop to address the overall redesign of the Marathon Community Park with input offered at the February 2023 workshop and through online surveys.  

The presentation included these main features: 

  • Walkways that connect the east and west ends of the park. Currently, those who wish to walk across the park must either traverse the drainage ditch in between the ball fields or exit the park to walk on the sidewalk outside the fence.  
  • Maintaining a FIFA regulation-size (adult) soccer field that is also suitable as a main space for events such as the Marathon Seafood Festival, Celtic Festival, etc. The full-size adult soccer field can be configured into smaller practice/game fields for youth sports. 
  • Stretching the skate park into a linear feature on the north side, adjacent to U.S.1. As designed, the wheel park would include a bowl, mini ramp and pump track. The majority of the space is dedicated to the street course as it is reportedly the most used feature at wheel parks nationwide.  
  • Adding more bathrooms, shade, designated bocce and pickleball courts, more park staff office and storage space, better lighting and possibly another playground on the west side of the space.  
  • Improving the park’s visibility from U.S.1 and adding more access points that are safer for pedestrians and vehicles.  

“We don’t own the park space, you do. We want to give Marathon a plan that utilizes its green space in a way that suits your lives,” said Porrata. “Our intent with this design is to save many of the features, not only as a sustainability measure, but also to be good financial stewards.” 

Earlier in the day, city staff and members of the Platform Group walked the park to gather specific input from stakeholders such as the Marathon Youth Club and the Marathon Chamber of Commerce.  

After the workshop presentation, members of the public weighed in with suggestions and ideas on a variety of subjects: more field space for youth soccer, less space for the wheel park; different scheduling to accommodate more field practices; moving some features to other city parks; and better agreements with the Monroe County School District to use school fields to accommodate and promote all youth sports.  

The city of Marathon will publicize the date of the next workshop well in advance.