Skateparks Big And Small

Tony Hawk Foundation announces latest skatepark grants.

Thumbs up to Wyandotte, Michigan, where the community and local leaders worked together to earn a Built to Play Skatepark Grant for the small town of about 25,000.


Vista, CA
(January 14, 2019)—Your town doesn’t have to be a Metropolis to need a skatepark. The Tony Hawk Foundation has understood this since it began its work in 2002, assisting communities large and small to create free, quality public skateparks throughout the U.S., and helping fund them through the foundation’s Skatepark Grant Program. Last year, THF partnered with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to create the Built to Play Skatepark Program to further serve communities in Southeast Michigan and Western New York. No matter where you live, THF is there to help.

In fact, over the years THF has guided thousands of advocates and contributed over $9-million to help create 623 public skateparks in all 50 States, including twelve projects in the Built to Play region. “The skatepark-grant program is creating recreational opportunities that weren’t previously available for young people,” said Built to Play Skatepark Manager Trevor Staples. “Not only are more public skateparks being developed, but local citizens, municipalities, and organizations are working together to help make a positive impact in young people’s lives.”

The foundation has also just announced its latest grant recipients, representing towns like Alberton, Montana (population 423) as well as cities like Detroit, Michigan (population 673,104). These THF and Built to Play Skatepark Grants will help construct twelve new parks that will bring the benefits of skateboarding to more than 80,000 youth in nine States.

Among them, Hazleton, Iowa was selected to receive the Alex LeVasseur Memorial Grant, made possible by the Alex LeVasseur Fund for skatepark projects that best demonstrate a strong commitment to local youth and exemplary community outreach efforts. “Hazleton is a small, rural town with little access to healthy activities for their youth,” the LeVasseur Family announced. “We are honored to champion Hazleton with the Alex LeVasseur Memorial Grant and believe the building of this skatepark will be an incredible asset to their community.”

Spring 2019 THF Skatepark Grants
Meredith, New Hampshire (pop. 6,384) $25,000
Vernonia, Oregon (pop. 2,240) 25,000
Laytonville, California (pop. 2,850) 10,000
Hazleton, Iowa (pop. 820)–Alex LeVasseur Memorial Grant 10,000
Alberton, Montana (pop. 423) 10,000
Keene, New Hampshire (pop. 22,949) 10,000
Portsmouth, Ohio (pop. 20,443) 10,000
Allentown, Pennsylvania (pop. 118,093) 10,000

Spring 2019 Built to Play Skatepark Grants
Detroit, Michigan–Chandler Park (pop. 673,104) $250,000
Detroit, Michigan–Ride It Sculpture Park (pop. 673,104) 250,000
Wyandotte, Michigan (pop. 24,977) 250,000
Medina, New York (pop. 5,733) 250,000

“I am totally blown away by this opportunity!” said Alex Feig of the Medina Skate Society in Medina, New York. “This Built to Play grant is a game changer for the future of the Medina Skatepark and the community at large.”

The community transformation that a new skatepark brings also isn’t lost on eleven-year-old VaShon Pullom, who looks forward to the addition of a skatepark to Detroit, Michigan’s Chandler Park: “I think people will be excited! It’s something different and will attract more people to the park.”

“It really is the perfect storm!” says advocate Garold Vallie of the combined efforts of the Wyandotte, Michigan community, local leaders, and programs like Built to Play. “The Downriver area has been in need of a world-class skatepark for some time. The Tony Hawk Foundation and The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, along with The City of Wyandotte are going to make this a reality. We are so stoked to have the opportunity to build a safe and healthy area for everyone to come out and have a good time.”

The Tony Hawk Foundation and Built to Play Skatepark Grants will be available again this Summer. Follow THF on social media or sign up for the Skatepark Insider newsletter at www.tonyhawkfoundation.org and receive the announcement in your e-mail inbox. For more information about starting a public-skatepark project in your town, visit THF online or write to us at contact@tonyhawkfoundation.org.

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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 advocacy training 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 programs have awarded over $9-million to 623 communities in all 50 States, including $3-million through its Built to Play Skatepark Program in partnership with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. THF 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 technical support to skatepark projects on every continent and awarded $150,000 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, donations, and continuing contributions from Tony and other entities. For more information, visit the Foundation’s Web site at www.tonyhawkfoundation.org. You can also visit THF on facebook and Instagram @tonyhawkfoundation, and on Twitter @THF.

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. The Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2-billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the Foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information visit www.rcwjrf.org.