How To: Get Your City To Build A Skatepark With Miki Vuckovich

With over eleven-million skateboarders in the U.S. alone, and only about 2,000 skateparks, we have a long way to go before our need for top-quality terrain is met. And that’s where you come in-it’s your town, it’s your scene, and it’ll be your skatepark, but not if it never gets built. Here are some of the steps you’ll be taking on your way to achieving a wicked public TF.

ORGANIZE
1. Create a skatepark committee made up of skaters (who will actually use the park) and adults (who both vote and pay taxes). Obviously, skaters know what they need and they certainly know what they don’t want. Adults who have been involved with other public projects or who understand how the local government works are very valuable.

2. It’s important to show that the whole community is behind the project, and not just the skaters. Plus, adults can handle some of the more boring-but important-organizational chores.

PROMOTE
3. Unless you have broad public support, you’ll have trouble convincing local officials that they should spend public money on a skatepark (they’d rather build another softball complex).

4. Go door-to-door and collect signatures and hand out information sheets about your project, including where and when you’ll be meeting. 5. Get the business owners that kick you out of your spots-yes, if they don’t want you skating their rail in front of their store, it behooves them to support the creation of a local public skatepark.

FUNDRAISE
6. While the city has likely spent millions of dollars on facilities for other sports, they’ll probably ask for at least some of the funds for the skatepark to be raised privately. In other words, it’ll be up to you to go out and find it.
7. Local businesses, business associations, wealthy individuals, and other nonprofit groups or foundations are likely sources. And don’t forget that donations from individuals, even in small amounts, can add up.

DESIGN AND BUILD
8. Here comes the fun part. The best skateparks are the result of top skatepark designers taking local input and balancing it with what they know. It’s very important to hire an experienced skatepark designer. In other words, a guy who sells playground equipment in addition to skate ramps is not a qualified skatepark designer.

9. Again, make sure the company pouring the concrete is experienced in building skateparks. If your city ends up with Mr. Playground, get ready for kinks, bumps, and gaps (not the kind you can ollie). Often top designers are associated with top builders.-Miki Vuckovich

Click on over to skateboarding.com for links and more advice from Miki to get that skatepark going.