Where On Earth Is Alturas?
When the two nearest skateparks are located across State lines, you know your community needs one if its own. Such is the situation in tiny Alturas, California (population 2,900), where local skaters have to travel to Oregon or Nevada to ride. But with a grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation, the skaters of Alturas will have their own skatepark much sooner than they thought. SEE WHO ELSE GOT A THF GRANT
Get Thee to City Hall
Public parks are the direct result of community engagement. Decisions are made based on who shows up. As a result, one of the biggest obstacles to skatepark creation is the lack of youth representation during community-input meetings. City leaders and Parks Departments across the nation make decisions based on the voices of those who attend community-planning meetings.
One of the Tony Hawk Foundation’s goals is to encourage young people and their supporters to introduce themselves to their local decision makers and have their needs be heard. Every skatepark that exists today is the direct result of community engagement by local skatepark proponents. Getting teenagers into City Council meetings is one of our daily tasks that gets little attention.
That first City Council meeting is a litmus test for most novice skatepark advocates. Approaching the podium with a handful of notes and delivering the rehearsed plea for a new public skatepark is a make-or-break moment for any new project. Most people walk away from the meeting filled with excitement and hope… a lot like landing a new trick for the first time. The lesson is clear: Preparation and hard work pays off.
At the Tony Hawk Foundation, we endeavor to be with every group as they take this challenge. We have experience and encouragement to share with groups, whether they’re just starting out or in the final stretch. If you, or someone you know, is interested in getting a new skatepark project launched, give THF a call or drop us a line.
We are here to help.
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 technical assistance 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 $5.7-million to 588 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 financial and technical support 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 or to make a donation, visit the foundation’s Web site at www.tonyhawkfoundation.org. You can also visit THF on facebook and Instagram @tonyhawkfoundation, and on Twitter @THF.
Special thanks to the following THF partners for their ongoing support: MINI USA, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Gumball 3000 Foundation, Hawk Clothing, Nixon, Dynacraft, Roxiticus Foundation, and Zumiez.