SEQUIM — Sequim could see improvements and an expansion to its skate park if a new nonprofit reaches its goal of raising $700,000, organizers said.
The Sequim Youth Skate Park Foundation aims to repair and improve the current skate park at Carrie Blake Park, 202 N. Blake Ave., which is also used by BMX riders, and add a street area, bowl and snake bowl, doubling the size of the park, said Mark Simpson, the nonprofit’s president.
“We wanted to have something for everyone,” said Simpson, who has skateboarded at the park for the past 13 years.
The plan is to fix the cracks in the current park, improve drainage and beautify the area.
Water now seeps into the park through cracks in the concrete, causing problems for skateboarders.
“When you look around in this park, what does it look like to you?” he asked.
“It looks like a prison yard. Take down the fences and make it a more beautiful park in general.”
The current park works well for BMX riders, but it doesn’t have much flow for skateboarders, he said. Its features are too over-sized for skaters to develop a good flow, he said.
On top of that, the 16-year-old skate park is in such disrepair that it isn’t safe for skateboarders, he said.
“If you go in the bowl, when you start looking at all the dimples in the concrete and how unsafe that is for anyone who wanted to drop in, you realize there needs to be repairs,” he said.
The skate park, nestled at the front end of the park, is one of the first things people see when they arrive, he said.
Simpson had heard about the city’s planned improvements for Carrie Blake Park, and thought it was a good opportunity to work on the skate park, he said.
The foundation has reached out to the city and has seen some good signs, he said.
Joe Irvin, director for the city Parks and Recreation department, said that while the city hasn’t approved any public funding for the project, the concept was endorsed by the Parks, Arbor and Recreation board during its Oct. 3 meeting. The City Council has not taken formal action.
A skate park expansion is mentioned in a 20-year plan for Carrie Blake Park, though no public funds have been set aside for the project, he said.
“I foresee that being the case for quite some time,” Irvin said. “It’s just an issue of coming up with the right amount of funds to complete the project.”
Irvin said he is optimistic the foundation will be successful in its fundraising effort. The plans for the skate park are still very preliminary, he said, adding design work and environmental review still must be done.
“It’s really a new plan and it’s going to take us awhile,” he said.
Grindline Skate Parks, a Seattle construction company, created a conceptual design for the park already, taking off $3,000 of the costs of the design for the foundation.
Since the foundation got its nonprofit status three or four months ago, it has raised about $3,000 toward the project. Through a raffle Monday for a Lib Tech snowboard, the foundation raised about $1,500, said Tim Stanford, vice president for the foundation.
Stanford, a videographer for Mervin, said the company is promoting the concept for the new park. Mervin makes boards for Lib Tech, GNU and other brands.
The foundation plans to seek grants and work with other nonprofits, such as the Tony Hawk Foundation, to supplement donations coming in.
If built, Stanford expects the park to not only draw locals, but also riders from around the state.
“As skateboarders, we travel a lot and we hit up all the different skate parks in the country,” he said. “Just to have another skate park here in our hometown, we could be proud of that.”
Stanford also plans to involve bikers in the fundraising effort. He said in spring, the Seattle BMX plans to host a BMX and skate contest at the park as part of a fundraiser.
“We want to get all the BMXers and skaters to come together to get money for this park,” he said.
The nonprofit is accepting donations through its Facebook page, “Sequim Youth Skate Park Foundation,” and through https://cash.me/$SkateSequim.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.