Tony Hawk Foundation continues to fund active spaces for youth

A recent report from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC)* reveals that teens aren’t getting the exercise they need to meet minimum health standards. The report shows that only one in four youth between 13 and 15 years meets the recommended one hour of moderate to vigorous activity each day. Physical activities like skateboarding help youth meet or exceed the CDC standards, but most do not have adequate access to safe, sanctioned places to skate.

Oceanside, California opened its third skatepark in 2013. Like its first two, the new Prince Park (Alex Road Skatepark) is hosting dozens of young skaters daily. Oceanside received a Tony Hawk Foundation grant in 2008. Photo: Miki Vuckovich

With only about 3,500 skateparks nationwide, the U.S. needs another 9,000 to accommodate its estimated 6.3-million current skateboarders. The Tony Hawk Foundation has been working with community groups since 2002 to help create safe, free, public skateparks. In addition to providing critical technical assistance on skatepark development, the foundation also awards grants to help fund their construction.

Applications for Tony Hawk Foundation grants are currently being accepted, but Wednesday, January 15 is the last day for hopeful skatepark advocates to apply. With the spring building season around the corner, foundation staff are expecting to receive more applications than usual. “Applying for a THF grant is easy,” says THF Programs Director Peter Whitley. “The application is submitted online, with a few supplementary documents mailed to us afterward.”

Offered twice annually, the coveted Tony Hawk Foundation grants offer up to $25,000 for the construction of free, concrete, public skateparks, as well as the prestige of passing the scrutiny of the organization’s Board of Directors. Whitley says that receiving a Tony Hawk Foundation grant has been cited by past recipients as critical to their qualifying for grants from other organizations: “Communities that receive THF grants gain exposure and can take advantage of that attention to attract additional project sponsors and donors.”

“We look for projects that have strong community support and demonstrate everything that skateparks should be,” he continues, adding that THF grants are fairly competitive, though organizations can reapply if they aren’t selected.

Grant awards will be announced in late February. Skatepark projects that are not able to submit applications in time for the January 15 deadline can apply in June. More information about Tony Hawk Foundation skatepark grants (including deadlines) can be found on the organization’s Web site at tonyhawkfoundation.org.

* 2012 National Youth Fitness Survey (CDC.gov)