10 Steps To Your Own Public Skatepark

The Tony Hawk Foundation refines its skatepark development model.

Communities get the greatest value from their association with THF by connecting early and receiving critical support throughout the process. Here, skaters in San Luis Obispo, California celebrate their skatepark’s opening day. Photo: Miki Vuckovich

Vista, CA (January 11, 2019) — Every day Tony Hawk Foundation staff take questions from people interested in a new local place to skate. Some of these calls and e-mails are from folks who are having difficulty with the skatepark-development process and need assistance, but many of them are from people just starting out.

Although THF loves talking to experienced advocates, the most critical work is when the project is in its beginning stages and the project organizers are still unclear on what is (or will be) expected of them. Over the years THF staff have honed their experience providing the kind of encouragement, data, and guidance that results in permanent, public skateparks. This work is most effective when THF is involved with a skatepark project in its earliest stages.

Recently THF introduced a revised framework for emerging community organizers. This new development model breaks down the elaborate process into ten easy-to-follow steps. For those looking to launch a skatepark effort in their neighborhood, the following milestones represent the path to success:

1. Preparation — Organize a community skatepark meeting.
2. City Introduction — Present the skatepark concept to city leadership.
3. Public Outreach — Nominate and elect the exact location.
4. Kick-off — Recruit the project fiscal sponsor (or form a nonprofit).
5. Partnerships — Launch fundraising campaign.
6. Grassroots Fundraising — Reach 50% of funding goal.
7. Major Donors — Conclude fundraising.
8. Hire Designer — Create blueprints.
9. Hire Builder — Begin construction.
10. Operation — Grand opening and establish policy.

This framework is being deployed broadly to all new skatepark development efforts and will result in stronger projects by beginning skatepark advocates and community organizers.

This procedural innovation is just one of the ways that THF is incubating community engagement, continuing to maximize the impact of its work, and encouraging the long-term benefits of public skateparks. For more information on THF’s services to communities, please visit www.skatepark.org or write to contact@skatepark.org.

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Tony Hawk Foundation
A charitable, non-profit organization, the Tony Hawk Foundation was established in 2002 by its namesake, professional skateboarder Tony Hawk. THF promotes and provides advocacy training and funds for high-quality public skateparks in low-income areas throughout the United States that promote healthy, active lifestyles, and to International programs that enrich the lives of youth through skateboarding.

Domestically, the Foundation’s Skatepark Grant program has awarded over $7.9-million to 611 communities in all 50 States. The Foundation focuses on working with local officials and grassroots, community-based organizations that plan to hire designers and contractors with strong experience designing and building skateparks.

The Foundation’s International Program has provided technical support to skatepark projects on every continent and awarded $150,000 to assist youth through the Skateistan educational programs in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa (www.skateistan.org).

The Tony Hawk Foundation was established by a gift from Tony Hawk. Its directors raise additional funds through events, industry donations, and continuing contributions from Tony and other entities. For more information, visit the Foundation’s Web site at www.skatepark.org. You can also visit THF on facebook and Instagram @tonyhawkfoundation, and on Twitter @THF.