BONUS: Built To Play Skatepark Program Expands Grant Opportunities

$250,000 matching funds available for skatepark expansions and replacement.

Built To Play Skatepark Grants are helping communities in Southeast Michigan and Western New York (like Amherst), expand, replace, or build new skateparks for their youth.

Vista, CA (September 5, 2018)—The successful launch this Spring of the Built To Play Skatepark Program resulted in $1.5-million in construction funding for six skateparks in Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The opportunity has now been expanded for more communities to apply for matching funds up to $250,000 to build free, public skateparks that serve low-income areas. Eligible projects include new skateparks, replacement of temporary ramp skateparks, or completing skateparks that were originally built in phases.

The Built To Play Skatepark Program is a partnership between the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, which serves communities in sixteen counties in Southeast Michigan and Western New York, and the Tony Hawk Foundation, which has helped create 552 skateparks across the U.S. The program offers matching grants to build skateparks in the RCWJRF service area.

“It can’t be overstated how important the Built to Play initiative is to communities in Southeast Michigan and Western New York,” said Trevor Staples, the Built To Play Skatepark Manager. “The generosity and support from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, coupled with the skatepark knowledge and expertise of the Tony Hawk Foundation is the perfect partnership to help get young people moving in the region. Most municipalities have dreamed about building a public skatepark to meet the needs of their young people. The BTP Grants are helping make those dreams a reality.”

The first recipients of the Built To Play Skatepark Grants were notified in August and include projects in Detroit, Port Huron, Ypsilanti, and Ferndale, Michigan, as well as Amherst and Rochester, New York. “The grant really hypes me up,” said Mauricio Mejia, 16, of Ypsilanti, Michigan. “It’s a sign that you can really make change in not only your life, but the lives of people around you and in your community.”

The Built To Play Skatepark Grant application is now live and available at, where eligibility criteria and maps of the program’s service area can also be found. Applications are due October 10, 2018.

For more information about the Built To Play Skatepark Program, contact Built To Play Skatepark Manager Trevor Staples at For more information about public skateparks, visit the Tony Hawk Foundation’s Public Skatepark Development Guide at

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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 $7.4-million to 609 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 and awarded $100,000 to assist youth through the Skateistan educational programs in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa (

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 You can also visit THF on facebook and Instagram @tonyhawkfoundation, and on Twitter @THF.

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. The Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the Foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information visit