Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The basketball court approach to skate parks

Up until very recently our focus has been mainly on getting a small to midsized(10,000-20,000 sqft) park somewhere in Midtown or Downtown. The survey that the skaters took strongly points to these being the preferred locations.

Having one location is NOT enough
Having one park for Memphis is not a problem for current skaters because, according to the survey, almost 90% drive to go skating.

But what if you are a low income kid who never has skated. You are out of luck and so skating remains an activity for those who can drive.


Build a lot of parks! Simple but a small to midsized park costs anywhere from $300-700k! So if we build 5-10 of these we are looking at atleast $1 million. Our city budget is strapped.

So let's build very small parks around 1000-2000 sqft. Check the picture below

Midtown and downtown are the favored locations

These are also known as skate features. They typically have one street element and a bowl. They cost between $50-100k. At this price we can build 5 or 10 of these park for the price of one small to midsized park. So what are the advantages to this approach?

1. We can raise these funds in case Memphis parks and recreations skate park budget is not approved

2. These parks can be completed faster since they are smaller.
3. Having many locations will prevent overcrowding.
4. A lot of youth who can't find a ride will finally have chance to learn how to skate. This fulfills one of our core missions!
so..... there is a much better chance you will have skate park that you can skate to!

First location?
This is a big question right now. We are thinking that Greenlaw community center park would be a location that Parks and Rec might let us have.

Why Greenlaw?

1. As GatesofMemphis mentioned it very near the MATA hub.
2. Its could be used by siblings of St. Jude patients
3. BridgesUSA could use it for their programs

4.And most importantly Detric Golden's youth, that hang at the center and have recently learned to skate, would finally have a skate park in their immediate neighborhood. Goldens skaters have been skating on my half-pipe for the past year and we go on regular skate trips to surrounding skate parks.

We'll keep you posted. We are also in the process of getting positioned to soon start taking donations. More to come in a few weeks.


gatesofmemphis said...

just a heads up: the Mayor wants to close the Greenlaw Community Center on Mill. !!!

Aaron said...

I spoke with Golden today about this and this actually turns out to be potentially good news. He has plans to lease it from the City which will give him more space for his programs and control over the center. Will the city allow him the space?

The big question is whether the outside of the center would still be insured by the city. Since there is an existing playground there I am assuming it will be otherwise they would have to tear the playground out. Hopefully I'll have more news in a few weeks or less.

What about the other two community centers? Will their fate be so fortunate as Greenlaws? We can only hope so..then again it could all fall through for Golden as well. Let's hope not.

Kelvin Oliver said...

Though I have been reading about the skate park here and there not not a skater myself, but I hope everything work out for the best.

Kaleigh said...

What a great idea for that location! As an Uptown resident (and long-ago skate rat), I would love to see a skate park nearby. Keep us posted!

Aaron said...

Kaleigh: Is there an Uptown community association or group that would be interested in a presentation or something. Our biggest concern is that a developer is going to buy Greenlaw, demolish it and build houses. If we had the backing of the Uptown community I think perhaps this would be much less likely. Your help would be much appreciated!
You can contact me a skatelifememphis@gmail.com

We need community support!

Aaron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Main!! said...

WE need this to save the Midtown sate scene!!!!