(Vista, CA) – As communities continue to grapple with COVID-19 restrictions, skatepark advocates across the country further their charge to bring accessible alternative recreation to their communities. Facing municipal budget changes and quarantine restrictions, the local volunteer skatepark advocate’s challenge has never been greater. Thankfully, most projects have shifted into the digital advocacy realm without missing a beat.
As project leaders have adjusted course to better serve their communities, The Skatepark Project has deployed a new Grants Committee to better serve those in need of public skatepark grant funding. Grants Committee Chair and longtime skatepark advocate Stephanie Murdock explained: “The TSP Grants Committee is excited to announce this round of grant awards to projects selected with a focus on creating equitable access to safe and inclusive skateparks for underserved or other otherwise marginalized communities across the United States.”
With the help of the Grants Committee and approval of TSP’s Board of Directors, we’re pleased to announce this semester’s winning grant applicants. From an exciting, native-teen led project on the Tohono O’odham Reservation in Arizona, to a fast-tracked project in Michigan led by the local Police Athletic League, this semester’s group of winners demonstrates a few of the unique types of well-formed skatepark projects out there.
WINTER 2020 TSP SKATEPARK GRANT RECIPIENTS
GuVo District, Tohono O’odham Nation, Arizona – $20,000 (PTM Foundation)
Salida, Colorado – $10,000
Fairbanks, Alaska – $10,000 (Alex LeVasseur Memorial)
Red Lodge, Montana – $10,000
Kapa’a, Hawaii – $10,000
Jacqueline Charley, mother to Jacob Charley, who is one of the lead spokespeople for the Endure Skate group of the Tohono O’odham Nation, shared her reaction to the news. “Our first response was total shock, gratitude and tears. We are still a bit speechless. This is a huge milestone for us and we are humbled to receive the grant. This is for generations to come, this is for forever. This life-changing grant supports the first skatepark on Tohono O’odham Nation and the vision of GuVo young people. The generous grant from The Skatepark Project and PTM Foundation not only connects the Endure Skate Group and GuVo skateboarders to a global skateboarding family, but brings together young people from all over the Tohono O’odham Nation Reservation.”
The Tohono O’odham Nation grant was supported by the PTM Foundation, founded by the Grammy Award winning band Portugal. The Man. An experienced skatepark advocate himself, bassist Zachary Carothers of Portugal. The Man and PTM Foundation hopped on the call to deliver the news. He had this to say about his experience: “I’m not crying, you’re crying!!! So amazing to give some good news to good people. Congrats on the grant! This crew has been working hard for a few years and it’s so inspiring. Teaming up with The Skatepark Project has been unreal. Skate and destroy, skate and create.” – Zachary Carothers, Portugal. The Man / PTM Foundation
Built to Play Program
Thanks to the support of The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, the Built to Play Skatepark Program announced support of the Pontiac Michigan skatepark project. “Across Southeast Michigan and Western New York, communities are embracing the Built to Play initiative as a way to help serve the recreational needs of their young people. Cities like Pontiac, Michigan demonstrate the positive things that can happen when citizens and municipal leaders work together to do good,” said Built to Play Skatepark Manager Trevor Staples. Communities in Western New York and Southeast Michigan can apply for the next round of Built to Play Skatepark Grants on December 15th.
Many of this semester’s grant recipients were receiving ongoing Technical Assistance from The Skatepark Project staff. While TSP Skatepark Grants provide both tangible financial assistance and an exclusive status that often attracts other grants and donations, the core work of The Skatepark Project is to educate both skatepark advocates and local leaders on the process of developing a proper skatepark.
Communities seeking to develop public skateparks should begin by studying the information at www.publicskateparkguide.org, which covers every step of the skatepark process, from creating a vision to skatepark design and construction. For communities further along in the process, the next grant cycle window opens on December 15th, 2020. Learn more about The Skatepark Project Grants and Built to Play Grants.