New Salida Skatepark


BREAKING GROUND: From left to right stand, Rod Rodrigue, Bryce Rodrigue, Jason Shelman, Ryder Reed, Harold Kasper, Max Kuehnel, Drew Nelson, Jason Willis, Jane Shelman, Heron Shelman, PT Wood, Nate King, Laura Donavan, Amy Reed, Derek Scott, Justin Critelli, Kevin Lane, Stacy Stickler, Stacy Falk, and Cody Reynolds posing with the Friends of Salida Skatepark banner on November 18, 2020 at the groundbreaking for the new Salida Skatepark in Centennial Park.

Maddie Porter, Ads Manager

The current Salida Skatepark is a modest plot on the corner of 1st and G st. It has very few features and nothing for beginners. It is time for a change. Salida’s skating, scootering, and BMX biking communities have been saying this for ages, and finally, it is happening.

“The park here has always just kinda been rough,” senior Ryder Reed said. Ryder Reed has grown up skating in Salida and ever since he started significantly improving, he said, “I have always dreamed of getting a new park but it hasn’t always been the most realistic idea.” In late 2018, a Salida local and friend of Ryder Reed’s made a Facebook post about building a new skate park that gained a lot of traction. This is when Ryder Reed realized, “oh well this could maybe happen.”

Salida High School alumni Carlos Barrientos had a similar experience. He had thought about a new skate park for “quite a long time,” but said he, “never really thought it was possible.”

“It was just a hopes and dreams kind of thing.” Within the past couple of months, Barrientos has realized that a new skatepark really is coming to Salida.

It’s been a long process to breaking ground on the park and has taken a team of motivated people. In fall 2018 the group, Friends of Salida Skatepark, was formed, to “generate community support and raise capital to build a new skatepark in Salida,” said founder Amy Reed. Friends of Salida Skatepark will contribute $25,000 towards the construction, raised from donations and fundraising events. Amy Reed spearheaded fundraising efforts, organizing a multitude of events including a contest during FIBArk, a skateboard art gallery at the arcade for Artwalk, and the Skateful Dead concert with Rok School and Roundhouse Assembly.

“We kind of spent that whole summer raising money and building community support around the idea of a new skatepark,” Amy Reed said.

The group also applied for a GOCO grant and was awarded it in March of 2020.

Volunteers have been a crucial part of the project. Ryder Reed, Amy Reed, and Barrientos have been giving “as much time and money as possible,” Barrientos said. Each of them helped plan and volunteer for the fundraising events.

“It’s been fun, and I think a lot of us have had a really good time doing it,” Amy Reed said. “We just have this eclectic group of people, both male and female, of ages from teenagers up to 50 some year olds that have come together over the common bond of skateboarding.”

On top of volunteering, Ryder Reed was on the committee for selecting the skatepark builder. The committee interviewed four different skatepark builders, settling on Grindline Skateparks Inc. out of Seattle Washington.

“I was super happy that I got to be a part of that just because I got to work hands-on and kind of decide what I think I would really want,” Ryder Reed said.

“We were looking for a builder that would work with our community and not only bring their own expertise to the table but also understand the needs that we were looking for,” Amy Reed said, and they found just that with Grindline.

When the pandemic hit it “brought out fundraising to a screeching halt,” Amy Reed said. Friends of Salida Skatepark had been planning on raising $10,000- $20,000 over the summer but were unable to. This fall they were awarded a $10,000 grant from the Skatepark Project, formerly known as the Tony Hawk Foundation.

“Honestly a bunch of stuff just worked out in our favor,” Ryder Reed said. A process that everyone was prepared to take many years is on the home stretch in just two. “The timing of this happened when we had a city council, a mayor, a city admin, and a new parks and rec director that all fully supported this project and did their best to make this happen,” Amy Reed said.

Barrientos is excited to see the variation in features that will allow people of all skill levels to enjoy the park. Having a park with a wide variety of features, “is really exciting for a younger demographic of kids who want to learn to skate or scooter or bike,” Barrientos said, but also a huge improvement for advanced skaters like Ryder and Barrientos. “I think the community will be more connected with a new skatepark,” Barrientos said. Personally, Ryder Reed is most excited about the street section with rails and ramps, which will be something different and more characteristic of urban settings. Barrientos said, “I feel like this is going to be the next step to me trying out new things.”

“We are extremely grateful to the community for their support and equally grateful to the city of Salida for believing in this project and supporting it and making it happen. We are looking forward to providing Salida with a world-class skatepark,” Amy Reed said.

Barring any weather delays, the park is expected to be completed in March of 2021. For information, updates, and donations, visit the Friends of Salida Skatepark Instagram and Facebook Page.