Advancing Skatepark Advocacy

Posted: February 28, 2011

Tony Hawk Foundation hires Peter Whitley to lead skatepark programs.

Peter Whitley

Tony Hawk (Left) and Executive Director Miki Vuckovich (Right) welcome Programs Director Peter Whitley (Center) to the THF team. Whitley's decade of skatepark work makes him a critical resource for skatepark advocates across the U.S. (Photo: Jaimie Muehlhausen)

2/28/11 (Vista, CA) – The Tony Hawk Foundation has hired premier skatepark advocate Peter Whitley as its Programs Director. With nearly a decade of work promoting skatepark development, most notably as Co-Founder and former Director of Skaters For Public Skateparks and author of the Public Skatepark Development Guide, Whitley brings tremendous experience and a new perspective to THF.

"Peter embodies everything we try to accomplish with our foundation," says THF President Tony Hawk. "His pragmatic, passionate approach to public skateparks is exactly what we need in a Programs Director. I look forward to working with him."

In 2005 Whitley led his hometown of Tacoma, Washington through the process of developing a system of public skateparks, converting blighted urban parks into pedestrian-friendly skate areas. The Tacoma experience has become a model that continues to inspire community leaders across the U.S.

"It is a privilege and an honor to join the Tony Hawk Foundation," says Whitley. "I am thrilled to have this opportunity to support skatepark-advocacy groups directly, and to continue to raise awareness about the power of skateboarding. It's vital work and I'm thrilled to be involved."

As Director of Skaters For Public Skateparks, Whitley synthesized the experiences of hundreds of other skatepark advocates to create the Public Skatepark Development Guide—the 128-page manual that has become an indispensible tool for communities pursuing skateparks. First published in 2007, over 6,000 copies of the Public Skatepark Development Guide have been distributed worldwide.

"Pete literally wrote the book on skatepark development," says THF Executive Director Miki Vuckovich. "Bringing his talent and creativity to THF represents a quantum leap forward for skatepark advocacy, in general. Communities fighting for a safe place for their youth to skate now have this tremendous champion working for them, day in and day out."

Whitley joins THF in time for its Spring 2011 skatepark-grant season (grant applications are due March 1). Whether or not applicants qualify for grants, all will receive the benefit of a thorough review of their projects and detailed feedback from THF's Board Of Directors and staff, including Whitley.

Skatepark projects that aren't able to meet the March 1 application deadline have one more chance this year. The Summer 2011 Skatepark Grant Application deadline is July 1, and will be the final opportunity to apply for a THF grant until 2012.

Public Skatepark Development Guide

Public Skatepark Development Guide
Second Edition Released!

The Public Skatepark Development Guide, the indispensable handbook for public-skatepark advocates, is now available in an updated and improved second edition. First published in 2007 by the Tony Hawk Foundation, Skaters For Public Skateparks, and the International Association of Skateboard Companies, the ultimate guide for community-skatepark advocates was available for free, and supplies quickly disappeared. The new 128-page second edition features updated information and expanded chapters, including skatepark vision, advocacy, fundraising, design, and management, plus several supplements and visual aids.

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