On Tuesday April 9, 2019, Garland Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts, and Garland Mayor Pro Tem Rich Aubin hosted over 100 families, citizens and skateboarders at the Garland Audubon Center for the first community input session on the new Garland Skatepark at Rick Oden Park. For a city that has been on a long journey to build a skatepark, the overflowing support from the community was exciting to see.
What the audience heard was extremely encouraging. $2 million to build a 20,000 to 40,000 square foot skatepark that is intended to be a regional draw for the DFW Metroplex. If you look at the SP4D DFW Skatepark Map, you will see the future Garland skatepark will fill a large hole in the map, so it will be sure to be extremely popular and support Garland’s economic development. Trevor Morgan of New Line Skateparks, Yann Curtis of SPA Skateparks and Bill Gurney of New Line won the contract to build the new skatepark. You will recognize those names from our article about the builders of DFW’s best skateparks. Trevor and Yann were also major contributors to our three part Beyond Concrete series, about what makes a skatepark a great public place.
Skateparks for Dallas attended the presentation to show support for our neighbors, and to learn about the process of community input that Dallas’s own skatepark will begin this coming Fall 2019 when the bond funds for the design phase are set to be released.
Trevor from New Line highlighted that a skatepark is both for the primary users (the skateboarders and BMX users), but also helps create an active and inviting public space and enhances the park it is in. The phases of the skatepark process are outlined as follows:
Detailed Design and Engineering
Enjoy the Park
The April 9 meeting was the kick off of the concept design phase. In June or July, New Line will return to Garland to present those initial concepts. In case you missed the meeting, you can still provide input at bit.ly/skategarland.
Trevor highlighted that a great skatepark includes numerous types of terrain, including plaza/street, obstacle, and bowl features, but also includes public spaces for skate-able art, a connection to the history and culture of the city it is in, as well as other amenities such as shade structures, and places for park visitors to watch the skating.
Mayor Pro Tem Rich Aubin, who represents Garland District 5, where the skatepark will be built, spoke at the end of the meeting, encouraging everyone to share the news about the Garland skatepark, and to make sure to pack the next meeting to provide further design input. Your attendance is critical, as at least a couple of Garland City Council Members are hoping to divert some of the skatepark’s $2 million bond allotment, if attendance at these meetings is sparse. Follow Garland Parks on Facebook to get news about when the next input session is.
Council Member Aubin was extremely pleased with the turn out at the event, and was smiling ear to ear, but perhaps his excitement was exceeded only by that of Elijah Moore Jr. Elijah is a long-time Garland resident and professional skater, who has been advocating for a skatepark in his hometown forever. In 2004, Garland passed the skatepark bond, and in 2007 Elijah was in the paper continuing to champion the park. So it was no surprise to see Elijah at the Audubon Center again championing the Garland skatepark.
New Line must be used to getting huge crowds at their community input meetings, because they developed a process they called “Skate-ocracy” that allowed everyone in attendance to provide input on the types of features they liked to skate. In addition to the online survey, they also had posters of a wide range of features and had everyone put colored dots on the features they were most interested in seeing in the new skatepark. Here are pictures of the votes that occurred in the room. Don’t miss your chance, come to the next meeting!