Stotzky Skate Park in Riverhead to be renamed to honor skater

RIVERHEAD, NY — A heartfelt tribute will took place to honor the memory of a remarkable young man whose passion for the skate park knew no bounds.

Wesley Ackerly, a beloved 27-year-old resident of Baiting Hollow, sadly lost his life on January 24 due to a rare form of cancer. Despite his tender age, Wesley left an enduring legacy of dedication to his community and unwavering support for the skate park.

In recognition of his remarkable commitment, the Stotzky Park Skatepark will undergo a poignant renaming ceremony, officially becoming the Wesley Dean Ackley Memorial Skatepark.

Wesley’s unwavering love for the skate park blossomed over the years. At the tender age of 14, in January 2010, he penned a heartfelt letter to the town board, passionately opposing a proposed fee increase for non-residents at the skate park. His concerns were clear: he believed that a higher fee would discourage young skaters from utilizing the park, potentially driving them towards less safe alternatives on the streets. Moved by Wesley’s words, the town board extended an invitation to him, where his poignant letter was read aloud during a town board meeting, as recounted by Riverhead Town Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ray Coyne.