Thanks to some deft advocacy, Philadelphia will soon be graced by the world-class Paine's Park skate plaza.
8/27/12 (Vista, CA) – Skateparks are a valuable public investment, and never has that been more apparent than during the current economic recession. They’re relatively inexpensive to build, and a well-built concrete skatepark can stand for many years before significant renovations are necessary.
The considerable longevity of skateparks was most clearly demonstrated this year when the infamous Derby Skatepark in Santa Cruz, California (built in 1977) received its first facelift after 35 years of continuous use. The tremendous value of skatepark investments was also underscored as new skateparks continued to open in communities across the country—including six Tony Hawk Foundation grant recipients, from Oregon to New York.
Not only are concrete skateparks relatively inexpensive to create, they are among the least expensive to operate, requiring neither staffing nor regular maintenance. And for the 3,500 communities across the U.S. that have skateparks, they are typically their most popular recreational attraction. Just build, and they will come.
This summer, about 200 current skatepark projects sought assistance from the Tony Hawk Foundation, receiving significant guidance and input on their efforts. And from the dozens that applied for funding from THF, seven stellar projects were chosen by the THF Board of Directors to receive grant awards.
Among the top grant recipients are the ambitious efforts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Savannah, Georgia.
Long known for its strong skate scene and legendary spots, Philadelphia is also home to some of the most sophisticated skatepark advocacy on the planet. Groups like the Franklin’s Paine organization have been working on behalf of skaters in Philly for more than a decade, and their unwavering push to promote skateboarding has resulted in the Paine’s Park Project—a massive riverfront plaza whose skateability will be only slightly camouflaged by its inspired architecture and grand landscaping when it’s completed in Spring 2013.
Advocates in Savannah have been working hard for eight years to build a public skatepark, and with the group’s ability to secure the support of THF and fashion guru Marc Jacobs, the project is finally gaining momentum. Expected to open in 2013, the Savannah Skatepark will be a 20,000-square–foot bowl-and-street paradise in a region lacking such ambitious concrete examples.
Summer 2012 Tony Hawk Foundation Grant Recipients
Savannah, Georgia ($25,000)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ($25,000)
Madison, Wisconsin ($10,000)
Seymour, Connecticut ($5,000)
Salisbury, Maryland ($5,000)
Ava, Missouri ($5,000)
St. Louis, Missouri ($5,000)
With 6.6-million skateboarders across the U.S., there is still a great need for more safe, sanctioned places to skate. Youth today are moving away from traditional team sports and seeking the excitement of individual sports like skateboarding. The Tony Hawk Foundation has been working with communities across the country since 2002 to help make their dreams of a quality skatepark a reality.
The next deadline to apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation skatepark grant is February 1, 2013. For application criteria and other information, visitwww.tonyhawkfoundation.org
A charitable, non-profit organization, the Tony Hawk Foundation was established in 2002 by its namesake, professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, to promote and provide funds for high-quality public skateparks in low-income areas throughout the United States—with an emphasis on the word “quality.” Since then, the Foundation has awarded over $4-million to 512 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 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. In addition to skateparks, the Foundation also makes donations to other children-related charities, as chosen by its Board of Directors. For more information or to make a donation, visit the Foundation’s Web site atwww.tonyhawkfoundation.org. You can also visit THF on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tonyhawkfoundation, on Twitter @THawkFoundation, and on Instagram @tonyhawkfoundation.