Q: Hey, I prefer riding street/park, but there’s only one park within a reasonable distance from my house. I go as often as possible, but it’s still a bit of a drive and it costs money every time you go. What steps would I have to go through to get the town to build a free outdoor park?
We have been involved in the development of several local parks and we can tell you, it all starts with a single phone call. Before you even pick up a pen or the phone, cruise around your town and see what kind of property is sitting unused or unmaintained in or around existing parks. Armed with that info, call your local Park & Rec, let them know what you are interested in and if they have any information on those properties; are they buildable, are there existing plans for them… Believe us, when they hear that you want to take the acre of land they have to weed, water and mow four days a month and cover it with cement, they will be eager to help. Next you will need to contact your local City Hall and if your lucky, the Parks & Rec will even hook you up with the name of a direct contact. This person should be able to load you up with a mind numbing amount of reasons why they cant or wont build a park and give you a seemingly insurmountable list of things you need to do for them to even consider one. Here is where your dedication comes in, because you need to tackle that list, hopefully with the help of some friends. Petitions, price quotes, success stories and failures of parks in towns similar in size to yours with explanations of the reasons for both, the benefits to local businesses… Armed with this info, the key is drumming up support, from local food joints who will benefit from an increased amount of foot traffic, along with local bike and skate shops, riders, skates, bladders, pogo balers, parents, the homeless…everyone. From here the park will steer its own course, but City Hall is where it ends for most, so allow us to encourage you to power through it and make that local park a reality so we can come ride it.
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