Counties That Count

The project has definitely benefited the community. The youth have a space to call their own, and they have invested to better their community for the kids who come after them. It also benefits local business, as the kids are not skating downtown in unwanted areas.

We recently shook down U.S. States to find out which are doing the best job of providing access to free, public skateparks (and which aren’t—Who’s Winning At Skateparks? https://tonyhawkfoundation.org/whos-winning-at-skateparks/). But who’s gonna do anything about an entire State that’s skatepark-deficient? That would be a bit daunting.

So, this month we present the Best and Worst Counties as regards skatepark level of service. These are the Counties that are doing the best job and some that are doing nothing at all to meet the needs of their skateboarding citizens.

Do you live in one of these Counties? Well, even those doing their best to provide skateparks are well under 100-percent level of service (in other words, they still need plenty more). But for those of you living in the Counties at the bottom of the list, here’s some encouragement: The only way to go is up.

Most Counties are made up of several cities or towns. So, really, the guilty parties in underserved areas aren’t necessarily the County administrations. The City governments within those Counties should be doing their part, and the County administration should be addressing the need in the unincorporated (non-city) areas. But they aren’t likely to take the initiative on their own.

Every new project starts with an advocate raising the question: “Why don’t we have a skatepark?” And that advocate is you.

Check out this data, find out how many skateparks are in your area. Then go to www.tonyhawkfoundation.org to learn how we can help you get started to create a new public skatepark right in your town. Or County.

Large Central Metropolitan (“Inner City” Counties)
95,794,160 Residents (31% of U.S. Population)
Recommend: 2,394 Skateparks
Currently: 648 Skateparks (24% of U.S. Skateparks)
Need: 1,746 Skateparks
Need Met: 27%

Large Central Metropolitan counties with highest Level Of Service (# of skateparks)
Salt Lake County, UT – Pop. 1,107,314 (20)
King County, WA – Pop. 2,117,125 (38)
Jackson County, MO – Pop. 687,623 (12)
Hennepin County, MN – Pop. 1,223,148 (19)
Multnomah County, OR – Pop. 790,294 (10)

Large Central Metropolitan counties with lowest Level Of Service (# of skateparks)
Jefferson County, AL – Pop. 660,367 (0)
Mecklenburg County, NC – Pop. 1,034,070 (0)
Miami-Dade County, FL – Pop. 2,693,117 (2)
Fulton County, GA – Pop. 1,010,562 (1)
Dallas County, TX – Pop. 2,553,385 (3)

Large Fringe Metropolitan (“Suburban” Counties)
77,488,865 Residents (25% of U.S. Population)
Recommend: 1,937 Skateparks
Currently: 567 Skateparks (21% of U.S. Skateparks)
Need: 1,370 Skateparks
Need Met: 29%

Large Fringe Metropolitan counties with highest Level Of Service (# of skateparks)
Park County, CO – Pop. 16,510 (2)
Gallatin County, KY – Pop. 8,636 (1)
Clear Creek County, CO – Pop. 9,303 (1)
Fredericksburg (independent city), VA – Pop. 28,118 (2)
Williamsburg (independent city), VA – Pop. 15,052 (1)

Large Fringe Metropolitan counties with lowest Level Of Service (# of skateparks)
Montgomery County, PA – Pop. 819,264 (0)
Anne Arundel County, MD – Pop. 564,195 (0)
Bristol County, MA – Pop. 556,772 (0)
Jefferson County, LA – Pop. 436,275 (0)
Chesterfield County, VA – Pop. 335,687 (0)

Medium Metropolitan (“Isolated City” Counties)
65,473,964 Residents (21% of U.S. Population)
Recommend: 1,636 Skateparks
Currently: 524 (19% of U.S. Skateparks)
Need: 1,112 Skateparks
Need Met: 32%

Medium Metropolitan counties with highest Level Of Service (# of skateparks)
Pend Oreille County, WA – Pop. 13,088 (2)
Boise County, ID – Pop. 7,058 (1)
Morgan County, UT – Pop. 11,065 (1)
Teller County, CO – Pop. 23,385 (2)
Stevens County, WA – Pop. 43,791 (3)

Medium Metropolitan counties with lowest Level Of Service (# of skateparks)
New Haven County, CT – Pop. 859,470 (0)
Guilford County, NC – Pop. 517,600 (0)
Mobile County, AL – Pop. 415,395 (0)
Forsyth County, NC – Pop. 369,019 (0)
Lehigh County, PA – Pop. 360,685 (0)

Small Metropolitan (“Small Town” Counties)
28,907,451 Residents (9% of U.S. Population)
Recommend: 722 Skateparks
Currently: 304 (11% of U.S. Skateparks)
Need: 418 Skateparks
Need Met: 42%

Small Metropolitan counties with highest Level Of Service (# of skateparks)
Martin County, TX – Pop. 5,641 (1)
Cotton County, OK – Pop 5,996 (1)
Howard County, NE – Pop. 6,409 (1)
Custer County, SD – Pop. 8,446 (1)
Benton County, IN – Pop. 8,681 (1)

Small Metropolitan counties with lowest Level Of Service (# of skateparks)
Champaign County, IL – Pop. 208,861 (0)
Okaloosa County, FL – Pop. 198,664 (0)
Broome County, NY – Pop. 196,567 (0)
McLean County, IL – Pop. 173,166 (0)
Muskegon County, MI – Pop. 172,790 (0)

Micropolitan
27,216,731 Residents (9% of U.S. Population)
Recommend: 1,088 Skateparks
Currently: 396 (14% of U.S. Skateparks)
Need: 692 Skateparks
Need Met: 64%

Micropolitan counties with highest Level Of Service (# of skateparks)
Morrow County, OR – Pop. 11,190 (2)
Menifee County, KY – Pop. 6,358 (1)
Wilkin County, MN – Pop. 6,396 (1)
Douglas County, NV – Pop. 47,710 (7)
Dare County, NC – Pop. 35,663 (5)

Micropolitan counties with lowest Level Of Service (# of skateparks)
Allegan County, MI – Pop. 114,625 (0)
LaSalle County, IL – Pop. 111,333 (0)
Navajo County, AZ – Pop. 108,277 (0)
Columbiana County, OH – Pop. 104,806 (0)
Ashtabula County, OH – Pop. 98,632 (0)

Noncore
19,032,869 Residents (6% of U.S. Population)
Recommend: 761 Skateparks
Currently: 297 (11% of U.S. Skateparks)
Need: 464 Skateparks
Need Met: 39%

Noncore counties with highest Level Of Service (# of skateparks)

Haines County, AK – Pop. 2,534 (2)
Lake of the Woods County, MN – Pop. 3,923 (2)
Mellette County, SD – Pop. 2,050 (1)
Wheatland County, MT – Pop. 2,110 (1)
Ouray County, CO – Pop. 4,691 (2)

Noncore counties with lowest Level Of Service (# of skateparks)
Aroostook County, ME – Pop. 68,628 (0)
Sampson County, NC – Pop. 63,724 (0)
Pike County, KY – Pop. 61,792 (0)
Duplin County, NC – Pop. 59,159 (0)
Columbus County, NC – Pop. 56,694 (0)