Philadelphia skateboarders finally have someone on their side. *Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund-the first organization of its kind-is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide funding for the design and construction of public skateparks in Philadelphia. Under the umbrella of The Fund for Philadelphia, Franklin’s Paine solicits tax-deductible donations to fund skateboarding facilities for Philadelphia’s youth. The Fund’s primary objective is to establish a public skatepark (modeled after the world-renowned street skateboarding spot, Love Park) in Center City, and then several smaller satelliteskateparks/facilities throughout the City.
Integral to the Fund’s mission is provision of oversight during the design and construction process to ensure that the finished skateparks meet the needs of the City’s and region’s skateboarders. Toward this end, the Fund’s Board of Directors will draw on the sizeable combined experience of its diverse mix of members of the Philadelphia skateboarding community, most notable of which is local professional skateboarder, Kerry Getz, who ranks among the top skateboarders in the world. Board member and Philadelphia CityCouncilwoman, Jannie Blackwell provided valuable assistance in the Fund’s cooperation with the City of Philadelphia.
Franklin’s Paine was founded in response to: 1) skateboarding’s popularity continues to increase, with recent estimates citing the number of skateboarders in the U.S. at 10,000,000 and growing, while places where skateboarders can practice their sport legally are dwindling due to increasingly restrictive anti-skateboarding legislation nationwide; 2)recent Philadelphia legislation that outlaws skateboarding “on public property unless use of a skateboard on such property is authorized by regulation, ordinance, or statute…,” particularly at Love Park and the area surrounding City Hall.
Franklin’s Paine is actively working with Philadelphia City officials to find a suitable site for a Center City skatepark. The Fund aims to provide the lion’s share of funding for this and other facilities through corporate and private sponsorships, and has already generated substantial corporate interest in their cause. However, thus far, potential sponsors refuse to commit funding for the project until a location is officially approved by the City. To date, none of the sites submitted by Franklin’s Paine have been approved by the City.
If you would like to help fund safe, legal places for Philadelphia skateboarders to practice their sport, or if you are interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to help fund public skateparks in Philadelphia, contact Franklin’s Paine members Josh Nims or Bryan Lathrop at: (215) 769-2775. Additional information about Franklin’s Paine can be found at franklinspaine.org.
* Franklin’s Paine derives its name from America’s revolutionary thinkers Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine. It carries their names as it attempts to satisfy the interests of a largely unrepresented population whose harmless choice of recreation has been legislated away by local politicians.
Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund
P.O. Box 15175
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone: (215) 769-2775
Fax: (215) 925-1922