Jersey City, New Jersey’s ambitious Berry Lane Park project will feature a world-class skatepark at its center, thanks to years of hard work and persistence from local advocates. Their efforts have also earned the project the Tony Hawk Foundation’s top grant, which has brought the group within sight of their fundraising goal.
Working since 2002 to help communities across the U.S. create free public skateparks, the Tony Hawk Foundation has announced the latest recipients of its grants. Four communities seeking to build free, quality public skateparks that will serve at-risk youth have been awarded the highly competitive prize, and each project represents skaters who banded together to articulate their vision for a skatepark, built a coalition of supporters, and ultimately secured the support of their local leaders.
“It’s inspiring to see skaters work so hard for their communities, while earning the respect and trust of their city councils,” said Tony Hawk. “These skatepark projects are the result of grassroots public efforts and real collaboration between the skaters, the community, and local leaders.”
While THF Skatepark Grants provide both tangible financial assistance and an exclusive status that often attracts other grants and donations, the core work of the foundation is to educate both skatepark advocates and local leaders on the process of developing a proper skatepark.
“Every day we field requests from communities around the world seeking our help in developing new public skateparks,” said THF Programs Director Peter Whitley. “The demand for safe, accessible skateboarding facilities is undeniable, and we are honored to be the go-to source for developmental guidance. Every skatepark starts with an advocate.”
Communities seeking to develop public skateparks should begin by studying the information at www.publicskateparkguide.org, which covers very step of the skatepark process, from creating a vision to skatepark design and construction.
Winter 2015 Tony Hawk Foundation Skatepark Grant Recipients
Jersey City, New Jersey ($25,000)
McCook, Nebraska ($10,000)
Taylor, Texas ($10,000)
Janesville, Wisconsin ($5,000)
Information about the Tony Hawk Foundation, its Skatepark Grant Program (including application deadlines), and resources for starting a public skatepark in your town can be found at www.tonyhawkfoundation.org.
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 technical assistance 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 program has awarded over $5.3-million to 560 communities in all 50 states. The Foundation 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 and awarded $100,000 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, industry donations, and continuing contributions from Tony and other entities. For more information or to make a donation, visit the Foundation’s Web site at www.tonyhawkfoundation.org. You can also visit THF on facebook and Instagram @tonyhawkfoundation, and on Twitter @THF.