Creating Recreational Opportunities for Our Community’s Youth
“This is a great way for kids to get healthy physical activity. We want to have a state of the art facility so that people have a publicly-sponsored area where they can go and do what they love to do.”
– Ray Sharp, Western U.P. Health
We plan to build a phase-centric park, with the first phase covering approximately 3200 square feet and costing $125,000. Second–and potentially third–phase additions will be smaller and cost less.
Our group formed in mid-late 2015 to construct a public concrete skatepark in Houghton, Michigan. We are volunteers working in coordination with the city, local businesses, and organizations in the interest of providing a professionally built, free-to-use, and universally appreciated asset to the community for decades to come.
Go Skateboarding Day 2016 Jam at Kestner Park (slideshow may take moment to load)
According to the 2010 US census, skateboarding has over 8 million participants, outranking hockey, skiing, and in kids aged 6-17, even little league baseball. Despite these massive numbers, there is no sanctioned place to skate in Houghton or neighboring Hancock, leaving local skaters with few if any options. In its 2014 update to its Master Plan, the City of Houghton identified a skate park as a targeted project to be constructed by 2018. The skatepark also is recognized in the City’s Recreation Plan. We’d like to join thousands of US communities in providing a safe and satisfying spot for local skaters and bikers to practice this healthy and communal activity.
Ray Sharp, Alex Aho, and City Manager Eric Waara MCed a very successful Skatepark discussion at a special city meeting. Photo courtesy of James Harju.
The City of Houghton has agreed to donate part of the East Houghton Waterfront Park for the skatepark. Our primary emphasis in selecting a location was that it be easily accessible, near parks, local businesses, and amenities. The most successful skateparks are located in high foot traffic areas and serve as an aesthetically pleasing addition to a natural gathering space. Any person is free to use the skatepark as long as they are respectful of the space, its users, and its neighbors.
For more information, visit the Houghton, MI Skatepark website at http://www.houghtonmiskatepark.org/.
Funding Youth Initiatives awarded the Houghton Skatepark project a $3000 grant.