I was at a small town skatepark recently, taking virtual tour photos. A local skater, probably 14 or 15 years old came by for a session just as I finished taking photos. I gave him a sticker and told him what my photos were for. I also let him know about Skateparktour.ca because not everyone knows about it yet!
He commented that his town needs a new skatepark because the current one has no bowl. He’s right, the current park in his town is very limited. It has no elevated components to gain speed. It also lacks a variety of features such as stairs, up/down rails, hubbas, gaps banks, or transition features.
I responded that “it was time to start working on getting a new park”, and wished him a good session while I loaded gear in the car. It hit me as I drove away that what I said was not very helpful or motivational. I wished that I had made these 4 points with him:
Most skateparks exist because some people worked hard advocating for it, and persisted for years in some cases
Some skatepark efforts took years of advocacy, fundraising, and planning to get amazing skateparks built. Some examples include:
The Rossland Skatepark, Rossland BC. The Rossland Skatepark Association was formed in 1996 to advocate for the skatepark which was recently opened (2017 or2018?). The RSA put in about 24 years of dogged persistence and advocacy to get a skatepark for Rossland, a town of about 4000.
- SLP Skatepark, Lethbridge AB The Lethbridge Skateboard Association fought hard through much adversity to get Letbridge’s first modern skatepark built, now they have 2 more!
- It wasn’t that long ago that Calgary, a city of over 1 million, had ONE skatepark. For 10 years, the Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts (CASE) advocated and organized, found allies, and grew support in cowtown. In 2011 the City adopted the Calgary Skateboard Amenities Strategy (an award-winning document) by New Line Skateparks. Calgary now has NINE new skateparks (CKE, Deer Run, Huntington Hills, Midnapore, New Brighton, Southwood, Bowness, Genesis, and Rocky Ridge.
Lots Of Skateparks exist because of advocacy by young people – Go ahead, become an advocate in your town!
Here are three examples of skateparks built with youth getting the wheels rolling, there are many more
Legacy Skatepark, Langdon AB Langdon youth got huge support from their local FCSS. They helped the young people organize and approach the Council and the provincial government for funding.
- Delburne Skatepark Delburne AB When Delburne skaters spoke up about the need for a skatepark their school got behind them, then the Delburne Village Council, local businesses, and members of the community supported the project as well. Delburne now has a skatepark that is the envy of many much larger towns!
- Lacombe Skatepark, Lacombe AB Similar to Langdon, one of the first supporters when youth spoke up was the local FCSS. A skatepark committee made up of youth and adults who supported the skatepark process as passionately as the youth raised they money and got a very fun skatepark built in Lacombe..
Find allies, others who want a new skatepark too, including:
- Other youth, including skaters, BMX’ers, scooter riders. Taxpayer money will pay for most of the skatepark cost so everyone will get to use the skatepark and every user group would help make it happen!
- A youth-focused organization that may be able to support your cause, for example, the Boys & Girls Club, FCSS, teachers, or your school
- Supporters on your local council and local business people
You are not on your own, there are resources you can access!
- Check out the Skateparktour.ca Advocacy page for links to some excellent resources
- You can always contact Skateparktour.ca if you have questions about how to get started
- Contact New Line Skateparks a Canadian full-service skatepark design firm that has built MANY skateparks all over Canada.
Let’s see a new skatepark, or an addition, in this town and yours, soon!