Seth Noonkester of Farmington, left, and Eli Davis of Wilton stand in one of the bowls at the Dragon’s Nest in Farmington, the first public skateboard park in Maine built in 1991. The two uncovered the Prescott Street facility, opening it for use again. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

FARMINGTON — The Dragon’s Nest, the first public skateboard park in Maine that opened in 1991, has reopened after two young men who took it upon themselves to uncover it.

Eli Davis, 25, an award-winning skateboarder from Wilton, said he is “excited to see the community enjoy this old but new feature.”

He and Seth Noonkester, 27, of Farmington, general manager of Titcomb Mountain ski area, started hand-digging the dirt from one of three buried bowls considered a vertical feature in skateboarding. However, to meet their time frame they received permission from Matthew Foster, director of Farmington Parks & Recreation Department, to use heavy equipment and paid for it themselves.

The park is on Prescott Street next to Hippach Field. After it was covered up, it was known as Kiddie Park. It featured marbles, four-square games, remote-control cars, basketball hoop and other activities but was underused.

Foster said Tuesday that he has wanted to bring back the park since he became director several years ago. Noonkester, his former assistant director, also knew Foster’s desire.

The skateboard park was built under the direction of retired Parks & Recreation Director Steve Shible. It took three years to build and cost about $35,000, Noonkester said. It opened in 1991 and closed a few years later when interest for it waned.


Eli Davis, 25, of Wilton demonstrates his skateboarding prowess, as Seth Noonkester, standing on the side watches Wednesday at the Dragon’s Nest in Farmington. Donna Perry/Sun Journal

A big hurdle then, Foster said, was that a public skateboard park had to have a supervisor on duty and skateboarders had to wear all safety equipment required. The statute no longer requires those elements. Olympic gold medalist and  snowboarder Seth Wescott, who grew up in Farmington, was one of the first monitors.

Skateboarding was scheduled to make its debut as an Olympic sport this year in the summer Olympics in Tokyo, Davis said, but the games were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I want kids to have a safe place to go and practice skateboarding,” Davis said.

Noonkester and Davis met while Davis was using a small ramp at Titcomb that Noonkester picked up free from Craig’s List.

“I could tell there was a talented skateboarder using the ramp,” Noonkester said. “He told me he had a passion for skateboarding.”

Davis wanted to get a skate park going and they met once a week for about two months to develop their plan.


“I’ve grown up skateboarding. I love it,” said Davis, who began skateboarding at age 6 or 7 at Kineowatha Park in Wilton.

His big motivation to have a skateboard park was so other kids can have the same opportunities to find their talent he had when he was growing up, he said.

The Dragon’s Nest was ahead of its time, Noonkester said.

The two had thought about fundraising but learned the cost would be about $300,000 for a 7,000-square-foot park. Before trying to raise the money, they want to see if there is an interest.

Davis’ long-term plan is to have a built-to-last skateboard park for kids and families, he said.

Foster said he appreciates what Noonkester and Eli Davis did.

“I think we will see it is very needed,” he said. “Hopefully, we will get more people using it.”

If the interest is there, Foster said, they could eventually pursue grants to improve it.

He called it a hidden gem.

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