If Palouse Can Do It …

A remote community with less than a thousand residents wraps up its skatepark project.

Palouse, Washington is building an ambitious skatepark for its 998 residents.

Palouse, Washington is building an ambitious skatepark for its 998 residents.

In Eastern Washington, practically on the Idaho border, is the town of Palouse, a community of 998 residents. It’s not on any major highway, there are no big-box stores, and Main Street is about two blocks long. Except for the sound of agriculture, Palouse is a quiet town.

It seems an unlikely place for a skatepark.

Everyone in Palouse is pitching in to build their skatepark.

Everyone in Palouse is pitching in to build their skatepark.

Yet, there are young people in Palouse who would benefit by having a positive, healthy place to gather and be active. This is the opportunity that Aaron Flansburg saw when he first approached city council with the idea of a skatepark in 2012. Starting with the Public Skatepark Development Guide, Flansburg and his cadre of advocates worked with the town to find the optimal site and begin raising funds for the new Tony Kettel Skate Garden. When the project encountered obstacles, Aaron called THF for a series of consultations and, with THF’s support, the Tony Kettel Skate Garden found a home and began fundraising.

When the time was right, Flansburg and his group applied for a grant from THF for the Tony Kettel Skate Garden project. The application included all the indicators of a project successful: lots of involvement from local youth, broad support from the community, and a local government willing to coordinate different parts of the skatepark effort.

The Tony Hawk Foundation awarded the Tony Kettel Skate Garden in Palouse, Washington $15,000 in 2016. The skatepark will open this Fall.

You can get your skatepark project started.

Skatepark signage en route to its new home.

Skatepark signage en route to its new home.