The Montez Skatepark was nothing short of a community effort. We have seen communities come together before to make a Skatepark a reality, but I must say, we were moved by the generosity and dedication of the community of Monte Vista. As many of you know, a skate park project typically takes years from design to completion and often volunteers become discouraged. Well, that is not the case in Monte Vista, Colorado. Back in 2004 three senior boys from Monte Vista High school took on the challenge, as their Senior Project, to find out what type of recreation facility was needed in the Community. After compiling their data and sifting through the replies, the overall response was a Skatepark. They then presented their findings to the School Board and City Council. After hearing about the boy’s efforts and the strong need and desire for a Skatepark, the Monte Vista Community Fund (the Fund) decided to take on the project. As a local non-for-profit, they often choose a cause for the year and assist with fundraising efforts. Due to their non for profit status they are able to offer a tax write off for donations and entice local citizens to continue to give. Besides running the Kid’s Connection Program, the community fund has a variety of local projects they assist with each year. In 2010 one of those projects was the skate park.
Working with Rally in the Valley (a fundraising arm for the fund) to help promote, raise funds and get the community involved, fundraising efforts began. Rally in the Valley is a two day event that takes place on Father’s Day Weekend each year. The heart and soul for the Rally in the Valley is the Garcia family, the owners of two local business; Alibi Sports Bar and Grill and Absolute Shine. They take on this event with full force; no rock goes unturned when it comes to the Garcia family.
“Every town should be issued a Garcia family when they are given their charter.”
says Bob Bryning, “They make things happen!”
The Rally in the Valley is made possible through volunteers and the efforts of the local community. Members of the Rally in the Valley take out personal loans each year in order to secure vendors, prizes, and extras for this big event. They are known for big give-a- ways, such as motorcycles, cars and cash. The Rally includes bands, poker runs, auctions, raffles and much more. Just over the last few years the Rally in the Valley has generated seed money for the playground at Bill Metz Elementary School, the Skateboard park, the 4H Livestock Utility Building, a Sound System for Ski Hi Park and the Faith Hinkley Memorial.
The community truly came together for the skateboard park. Donations from Kiwanis’s and Rotary, local dance contests, a multitude of sponsors, small and large donations from individuals, and in-kind donations from businesses all went towards the Skatepark project. The next step for the Community Fund members was to go after Grant monies to aid the funding for the skate park. The fund submitted for two GOCO grants which primarily funded this project as well as a Tony Hawk Foundation Grant. The Community Fund is most grateful to one of their volunteers, Brenda Wreford, for the excellent job of writing one of the GOCO grants along with the Tony Hawk Foundation Grant, thus helping to secure the funding. In the end, the Montez Skate Park project received two GOCO (Great Outdoors Colorado) grants, one to purchase the necessary land for the skate park and a second one for the design and construction of the skate park and its amenities. They also received a third grant of $10,000 from the Tony Hawk Foundation.
GOCO was created in 1992 when Colorado voters directed a portion of Lottery proceeds towards Colorado’s wildlife, parks, rivers, trails and open spaces. Up to 50% of the lottery proceeds go to GOCO. GOCO is governed by a 17 member Board of Directors appointed by the Governor. The Board distributes GOCO’s share of Lottery proceeds each year via competitive grants and investments in the Colorado Division of Parks & Wildlife. GOCO typically offers two competitive grant cycles annually in the fall and spring.
This project could not have happened without the dedication and commitment of the community, not only did the Monte Vista Community Fund Members work diligently to raise funds but many local businesses and the City of Monte Vista also pitched in. By having items such as pre-construction labor, materials and equipment donated, more funds went into the actual square footage of the Skatepark. REC removed twenty-one trees that were past their prime and becoming a hazard, while Earth Movers removed all the stumps and the City handled much of the excavation and grading to name just a few of the donated services.
The selected site is situated across from a very popular, state of the art, playground at Marsh School. This playground often attracts out of town visitors and weekend traffic, so what better location for the skate park? With traffic lights already in place offering a safe crossing for users, the skate park should be a great addition to that “destination” draw that the playground already seems to attract. Ultimately, bringing out of town visitors to the park will, in return, bring revenue to the local businesses.
This was a turnkey Skatepark project for our team handling all aspects of the Skatepark facility, such as design, construction, storm water management, restrooms, lighting, fencing and spectator viewing areas. When designing the Skatepark, we felt it was important to design a park-like setting that provided a place for every family member, not just the users. The final product is an 11,000 sq. ft. Skatepark, that includes a 8,500 sq. ft. snake run ranging from 5 to 7 ft depths, a frame bank/ledge, china banks, step up gap, escalating quarter pipe, mini ramp with competition stair handrail hubba setup and much, much more. There is not another skate park likes this in the area and we are proud to be a part of this amazing project and look forward to seeing the locals enjoy all their hard work. The skate park is currently under construction with a grand opening yet to be set but is earmarked for the spring of 2013.
For more information on the Montez Skatepark or how you can get a Skatepark in your community contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like us on Facebook and stay up date on all the Pillar projects, photos, grand openings and much more.