It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything, but it’s time to get the ball rolling again. The plans for a multi-functional design have been approved by the Eastsidehill Neighborhood Association. Our next step is Parks and Waterways Approval. We still have some serious fundraising to get through, but things are looking good for skateboarders in Eau Claire! The design above is approximately 5000 sq ft – designed to fit into the landscape of Boyd Park while not disrupting winter activities there. It is a linear design that will include mainly street style obstacles.
“Having a public skatepark has impacted my life in many ways. Before the skatepark was built i was not very good at skateboarding and had to find places to skate and got in trouble for skating those places. I have improved so much. I have made many friends at the skatepark. These guys are like family during the summer because I am with them nearly every day and they help me to improve on my skateboarding. It is so nice to not have to pay money or drive hours away just to skate. It is the first skatepark i had ever been to. It will always be a special place to because when I am older i can look back and be like” This is where i learned to skateboard.” – Devyn McCormick, Chippewa Falls High School – 17 yrs old
“As a mother of a skateboarder, I can tell you this skatepark has had a positive impact on my son and myself. This gives him a place to go to do the thing he loves to do, hang out and learn from the others that share his passion. I love that it gives him a safe place to skate and a place for me to go watch him do what he loves!” – Carrie Benson, Eau Claire
Skateboarding has been around for almost 40 years now, and even though it was considered a fad akin to hula hoops and the yo-yo in it’s first years, and even through the industries ups and downs during the eighties and early nineties – the last 15 years have proven that skateboarding is here to stay.
Today, skateboarding is a multi-billion dollar industry. Professional skateboarders sign million dollar contracts with shoe, video game and car companies, they are household celebrities.
Skateboarding is no longer an activity that is practiced and perfected by its enthusiasts trespassing on private property. Street League skateboarding and the X-games have helped to popularize skateboarding to such a point that municipalities all over the US, and the world for that matter, are building skateparks at a rate that was unheard of twenty years ago. They are becoming a necessity in many communities, and it’s time for them to become a necessity in the Chippewa Valley.
According to American Sports Data there are 12.9 million skateboarders in the United States. Considering there are 281.4-million people in the country, approximately 4.6% of the population in the United States are skateboarders. This reflects all of the casual skateboarders who ride once a month or less. Frequent skaters comprise about 25% of this group. Using this information we can figure that there are about 4,000 skateboarders in the Chippewa Valley – this includes Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, Altoona, and Lake Hallie. According to Skaters For Public Skateparks Skatepark Adoption Model http://www.skatepark.org/park-development/vision/2010/12/skatepark-adoption-model/this means the appropriate amount of square footage of skatepark space needed to accommodate our number of skateboarders is about 7,000 square feet. The skateboarding youth of the Chippewa Valley don’t deserve to be overlooked, they need safe, legal places to ride. That’s why we advocate for skateparks.
It has been almost two years since the completion of our first public skatepark, built by Portland, Oregon based concrete geniuses www.evergreenskateparks.com . Immediately after the obvious success of our new park we realized it was already time to find a new location for another park. It just was not big enough to fit the demand. There is quite a list of criteria we wrestled with to come up with the perfect location – and Boyd Park seemed to be the best fit we could agree on. Click this link to see some of that criteria http://www.skatepark.org/park-development/vision/2014/01/choose-great-skatepark-site/
We have received approval from the Eastsidehill Neighborhood Association to move ahead with our project and are currently busy fundraising and getting ready to propose a tentative design to the Parks and Waterways Commission. There have been questions about where in Boyd our skatepark could fit the best and we are working on a few different options at the moment. We are hoping to have some final ideas for our design by early summer. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates on our progress! http://www.facebook.com/Eauclaireskateboarders
Our organization was founded in the fall of 2011 with the goal of bringing the skateboarders of Eau Claire together to work towards completion of the Lakeshore Skatepark. At this point in time, the only place to skateboard legally in Eau Claire was at the YMCA skatepark and with it’s odd hours, off the beaten path location, deteriorating structures and entry fee – it was unattractive and rarely used by many local skateboarders.
We held our first fundraiser for the Lakeshore park in it’s parking lot, a mini-competition and raffle. We raised about six hundred dollars among ourselves, not exactly a big number – but it was a start. Four years and many meetings later we saw the completion of our first public skatepark, and it has been so overwhelmingly popular we’ve already begun to plan and fund raise for our second.
Our mission is to unite local skateboarders and to work with the City of Eau Claire in building free, public skateboard parks as well as to advocate for skateboarding as a healthy, positive recreational activity for people of all ages, genders, and economic backgrounds in Eau Claire.