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How to Start a Skatepark in Your Town

April 12, 2022

Do you want a skatepark in your town? Then you better start it yourself and here's why :

There are over 10 million skateboarders in the US alone yet the whole country only houses just over 2,800 skateparks. Before the Skatepark project there was under 2,000 skateparks and of those 2,000 half of them still were barely skateable. As of 2018, there were 98,755 public schools; 13,477 middle schools, 2,500 Junior high schools, and 23,900 Secondary Schools in the US. Let's just say that there was one football field for every public school in the US (keep in mind, this doesn't even include private schools), that is 98,755 more football fields than skateparks and that is a generously low estimate. You're probably thinking, "but every town needs a football field plus its waaaaaay cheaper to build one than it is to build a skatepark". WELL YOUR WRONG! According to, a typical, full-sized football, would have a conservative price of $5.00 per square foot. Football and soccer fields are approximately 80,000 square feet. That equals $400,000 spent on just the field alone, not to mention everything else that would be necessary for a game to be played. According to, Neighborhood skateparks are the most common size and will serve a whole area of town. Neighborhood skateparks are commonly between 8,000 to 12,000 square feet. The average price to design and build a skatepark is from $40-$60 per square foot. Most projects cost around $50 per square foot in total. Skateparks rarely are more than $65 per square foot, and can sometimes be as low as $25 per square foot. That means the cost of neighborhood skatepark ranges from $200,000 to $720,000. Skateparks can easily be more affordable than multiple football fields in one town. Sadly, Towns don't see skateparks as a necessary component to their communities and then get mad when we skate their houses & businesses. They fail to ever look into the larger problem at hand within skateboarding communities around the country. No one is going to do it for you because no one understands the problem unless they themselves are a skateboarder. Thankfully, we wrote this guide on how to get a skatepark build in your town and it covers everything you need to know foo!

1. Research

First off, you have to ask yourself if your town even needs a skatepark. It should pretty easy to determine. If you have a valid skate community within your town, you should be able to get enough support behind your project. You will also need to decide how big the skatepark will be. A Big city = a big skatepark, A small town = a smaller skatepark.  

You won’t be able to do it all alone. Getting a skatepark built takes a dedicated team. Build a team of passionate individuals who care about the well being of the skate community & skate culture as a whole. Find fellow skaters who are on board for the long run. 

On average, it takes a few years from the initial proposal to the official opening of the skatepark so make sure your team is filled with patient individuals who are down to dedicate their time indefinitely. That doesn't mean it can't be quicker though! It’s smart to find people who have all of the different skill sets you’ll need. Try not to add multiple team members that have similar skillsets so that everyones job is clear and so the whole team works effectively.

Here are some types of people that would be down to get involved with your project :

  1. People who have worked on previous skatepark projects in your area or in near by areas
  2. Other skaters
  3. Parents with children who skate
  4. Pros from your area (if any)
  5. If you have the connection, Town board members 

2. Building a Non-Profit

This requires a lot of paper work but is the necessary foundation for getting a skatepark built in your town. A lot skateparks usually make a non-profit coalition that stands as the front for the business of the skatepark. After you have been approved as a non-profit/charity, you need to open a bank account so you have a safe place to put the money you raise. Give two members of the coalition bank signing authority so that no is fraud committed, and you’re set to start fundraising. Here's 8 simply steps to making one :

  1. Choose a business name.
  2. Incorporate online at any business licensing platform .
  3. Apply for your IRS tax exemption.
  4. Apply for a state tax exemption.
  5. Draft bylaws.
  6. Appoint directors.
  7. Hold a meeting of the board.
  8. Obtain any necessary licenses and permits

3. Spread the word to the community community 

  • Attend local town meetings
  • Go to community events with flyers and explain the project
  • Write letters to your local newspaper for publicity
  • Contact local town council and make them aware that you are looking to build a skatepark in town
  • Start a petition : Get every skateboarder in town, their parents and anybody else who supports the project to sign a petition. A large number of signatures will show the town that this something they need to consider.
  • Make a website that explains the project and why it will be beneficial to the community.
  • Put up flyers around your neighborhood. Add QR codes so people can scan them and get redirected to the website
  • You could even go to local stores in your town and have them write testimonials about how a skatepark would benefit their business and prevent skaters from skating there. (Even though we all know, if it's a good spot, its always gonna be skated haha)

4. Fundraising 

Unfortunately for us all, money does not grow on trees so you will have to find ways to raise the sufficient funds needed for the skatepark. First you need to set your goals for the skatepark. We suggest creating at least 3 tiers. The first tier would be the most simple and would be the cheapest option, the second tier would be more intricate than the first tier, and the third tier would be the best possible version as well as the most expensive. This gives the community definite goals to reach and allows you to start the actual fundraising process with purpose. For more about fundraising, follow this link for a detailed guide made by the International Association of Skate Companies about how fundraising works for skatepark projects :

Here’s 11  ways to raise money for your skatepark project

  1. Apply for grants : Unfortunately, there aren’t tons of grants available for skateparks. Parks departments seem to put skateparks at the bottom of the list and usually will ask the skate community to raise the money on their own. With that being said, There are various grants available through the Skatepark Project (Tony Hawk Skatepark Foundation). Apply to as many as you qualify for. 

  1. Hold art auctions for the skatepark : Talk to local skate shop owners/business owners and ask them to use their space for the charity event. Gather community members, artists in the area, and influential members from the skate community to make pieces of art and hold an auction. This a fire way to get the community involved and spread the word about the project while also giving local artists exposure & making money for the project at the same time. 
  2. Make merch to sell to help raise money for the park : Create graphics in house for the skatepark and sell them at fundraising events, flea markets, and other fairs in your area. Creating memorable graphics can be a huge kickstarter for the skatepark. You never know who will be interested in wearing a dope T-shirt.
  3. contact local businesses : Some local businesses would love to help the skate community. Reach out to business owners with your proposal and let them know that contributors above a certain amount will be featured on a plaque in front of the skatepark
  4. corporations are looking to donate every year to get tax breaks, send them a convincing proposal and you may be the one they donate to
  5. other non-profit groups : They have soft hearts for communities in need. Reach out to Non-profits you may know in your area and see if they are willing to help. Even if they don’t have money to donate, they could have valuable advice of how to raise some.
  6. skate brands/ skate shops in the area 
  7. wealthy individuals in your town
  8. parents with kids who skate
  9. Find businesses that are willing to donate necessary materials, such as cement, wood, and metal, for the park to reduce costs.
  10. Create a fundraiser through gofundme
  11. Concerts and fundraising events : Get creative with your team and figure out unique ways to bring community members together for the cause of building the skatepark. Find local musicians who would be willing to donate their time to play live music at a concert, have local businesses pool products together for a raffle, hold a skateathon (like a marathon but for skateboarding), etc.

5. Designing and building 

Choose a location that’s the best for skateboarders in terms of weather, spot and surroundings

stick to the basics and make sure the park is designed well for all levels 

think about lights, bathrooms

avoid temporary skateparks / its not worth it in the long run

start by drawing your dream park. out community meetings & Have skaters from the area draw and submit suggestions for what they want in the park. After all, the skatepark will be for everyone, so you want to try and get everyones input.

Its extremely important to focus on hiring the right skatepark designer and the same goes with the company you choose to build the park. You want a company with experience, a company that has proof of previous designs & built skateparks. You also want to pick a company that can get the park done within the constraints and time limits your town needs it to be done by, if any.

Typically, there is a bidding for construction jobs like building a skatepark. This is just means that the town will create a brief about the project and allow companies to bid on the job. Make sure that the person writing the bid-specifications gets all the details right so that the skatepark builders have everything they need to build the park you desire. Again, choosing the right skatepark builder is extremely important. You don’t want to spend all of this time and money, get all hyped up, only to find out that the skatepark turned out like shit. This is why you have a team of people who care and are passionate about the project.

6. Prove to the town that the skatepark is benefiting the community

  • hold skate contests
  • host skate camps
  • hold demo events at the skatepark
  • continue to have concerts
  • Host BBQs 

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