Skate Park to break ground

Published on Thu, Oct 16, 2003 by Rebecca Schwarz Kopf

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Skate Park to break ground

By Rebecca Schwarz Kopf

The skate park is soon becoming a reality. After nearly two years of planning and fundraising, the first mix of concrete should hit the ground by the end of the month.

The Blaine Extreme Sports Club (BESC), a non-profit organization with about 75 members was created to act as an organization helping kids interested in skateboarding, rollerblading and BMX riding, and is responsible for the park�s plans and fundraising.

�This year we�ve really taken off with the park,� said Blaine police officer Jon Landis, who is acting as a liaison to the group. �Everyone�s been very supportive. Only one person has been negative about the park, but after speaking with her she agreed it was a good idea.�

The club conducted a survey last year to establish the level of interest among kids in the community about the skate park. Boxes were placed at the elementary and middle schools and the Blaine library.

�I wanted to get a feel for what kids were thinking,� he said. �And we received a few hundred responses and they were all excited about it.�

With construction companies slowing down for the winter season, the club is preparing for work to start. �We�re in the process of establishing what companies can donate to the project,� Landis said.

Much of the construction is being donated or performed at a reduced cost. The project, when completed, would have cost about $25,000; however, because of the generosity within the community, Landis said the park will cost about $13,000.

So far, the BESC has acquired $14,500 in donations and grants, including a $5,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation. Local businesses have been chipping in as well, including New Edge Hair Salon, which raised $250 for the skate park by donating $5 from every haircut over a span of three days. Steamers gave a day�s worth of revenue to the club and Sterling Savings Bank maintains the BESC account.

BESC member and Blaine high school student Nick Ryser is rebuilding a motorcycle for his senior project and upon completion will sell it, giving the proceeds to the skate park. Nick�s brother Andrew is a professional BMX rider and ramp builder (and is headed to Europe next week to compete) who is the president of the group.

The concrete starts pouring at the end of the month, and the park should be mostly completed within a couple of weekends. By spring, the final touches of ramps and other park elements will be finished.

The 120-foot long, 80-foot wide skate park will be constructed behind city hall, on the back side of Cain Creek, and will be surrounded by a four-foot fence. Last year, the city of Blaine approved the land to be leased by the club for 10 years.

The skate park will be open 24 hours a day, Landis said, and it will not be supervised; however, safety signs and park rules will be posted and the park is near the police station.

�The law opens up public land to people for skating, and we are not held liable for any injuries,� Landis said. �But there will be safety signs posted for the users.�

In addition to movable ramps, the park will also feature picnic tables to provide a family atmosphere.

�The kids are really excited about it, as am I. They really have nowhere to go and ride,� he said, adding they�ve been banned from the grocery store, post office, school and other places.

�This is a statistically safer sport,� Landis said. �And the talent it takes to ride. Have you ever actually watched a skateboarder? The balance they need and the training it takes is huge.�

To donate to Blaine Extreme Sports Club, send to: P.O. Box 2261, Blaine, WA 98231 or place a donation at Sterling Savings Bank under the Blaine Extreme Sports Club.