The St. Paul BMX and Skatepark society are hoping to start construction on a park this summer.
But there are still obstacles before construction can begin – funding being top of the list.
The group, chaired by Dan Reid, has already obtained support for the project from the local community and Town of St. Paul, secured a location between Iron Horse Trail and 53rd Avenue at 49th Street, and tasked New Line Skateparks with creating a 3D design of the future park.
Now the group is waiting on a potential CFEP (Community Facility Enhancement Program) grant to ensure that the project can be finished by the fall.
“If that’s a go [CFEP] then there’s no issue building the park. In fact, we’ll have a little bit extra for some amenities and lighting around,” said Dan Reid.
“If we get turned down, then we’ll still have a shortfall of about $100,000-$200,000 total, which we could make up $100k of that with gift-in-kind and another $100k we’d still need to raise.”
Recently, the St. Paul Elks Lodge donated over $10,000 to the project as a silver sponsor, just one of the several donations the park has received.
The park is designed for both street and invert skaters and caters to all skill levels and age groups.
Reid says that one way for someone to help the BMX and skatepark project is to donate their time or machinery with gift-in-kind services.
“For example, the county [County of St. Paul] said they’d probably be able to do crushed rock and fill, since we have to excavate…all that stuff adds value to the park without money. So people who are willing to donate gift-in-kind still get a tax receipt and they get their name attached to the park for the life of the park,” said Reid.
The initiative has been gaining steam for four years since Reid’s family faced tragedy when his brother took his own life.
Reid said he remembers skating and riding with his brother when they younger and hopes an outlet like a skatepark can be a refuge for someone else.
“When we moved into town we didn’t have anything like that and we were still at a younger age when that would’ve been important, it would’ve helped out for sure,” said Reid.
“For mental and physical health we feel at that age that youth need an outlet that’s not necessarily a team sport, but where they can go out and keep themselves active. Get away from whatever’s going on at home, progress their minds and their bodies, and give themselves some confidence too. It’s relatively affordable. A skateboard is $120 or so versus having your parents pay for hockey all year, some parents can’t afford that, can’t have the access.”
Reid says they should know within the next few weeks whether they’ve won the CFEP grant. If so, then construction will begin this summer without any financial hitches.
“We’re about 80 per cent that we can have it built by the time fall sets in. The next couple of weeks will tell the tale for sure,” said Reid.
If you’re interested in donating or giving service in-kind to the park, see the St. Paul Fundraising Package 2018.12.05(1).