Mike Fox Skatepark (City
of Santa Cruz) Progress:
I will attempt to keep everyone
posted on the progress of our new park. If anyone would like to
post here, please send to editor(at)realskate.com Clarkie
5/27/06 - Ground Finally Broken!
Why bother with shovels when you have tractors to move
that earth. Construction began this month on the skatepark. The
bid went to A.J. Vasconi who we are confident will do a great job.
It doesn't look that exciting at this point. If you recall, there
is quite an elaborate drainage system going in due to the high water
tables. The park is right on the river just below the levee. The
artwork project went to locals Judi Oyama and Jimbo Phillips. Whatever
it is going to be will be rad. So, Yeahhhhhhhhhh!
January, 2006 -
Call to Artists!
City of Santa Cruz Press Release: The City of Santa Cruz Public
Art Committee invites proposals from artists (individual or teams)
to design, fabricate, and install - or design and work with a fabricator
- to create artwork that will express the exciting opportunities
the new Mike Fox Skate Park presents to our community. Artists are
asked to use the visual language of art to:
Reveal the dynamic culture and imagery of skateboarding.
Excite and engage the broad-based community that will use
Create a skate park that reflects the unique Santa Cruz culture.
Develop an attraction and point of community pride for both
skaters and nonskaters alike.
Due to the unique nature of this project, the PAC wishes to assist
and encourage all proposals, therefore, all proposing artists are
required to attend a one day workshop to be held on Saturday, January
14, 2005, 9 am to Noon in Room ABC of the Civic Auditorium.
For more info http://www.ci.santa-cruz.ca.us/pr/parksrec/pdfs/05skateparkRFP.pdf
September 12, 2005 - The
final skatepark design was unanimously approved by the City Parks
and Recreation Commission members after a few questions were answered.
The design is awesome, and well received by the skaters who showed
up for the meeting. With the below-ground water table restrictions,
Zach managed to build upwards making it a very challenging park
which includes a full pipe. The meeting closed with very sincere
sentiments by the commission and a big round of applause by all!
City Council approved the final design on September
December, 2004 Design Workshop-
The Second Design Workshop was held on December 16. It wasn't well
attended and we are assuming because there is a lot of trust in
what Zach is coming up with, and hopefully neighbors are comfortable
as efforts are made to draw them to these meetings. Also, Zach is
taking input from skaters and pros outside these meetings. There
was a lot of discussion about the street vs. bowl ratio. I don't
envy Zach on this one, but I sure am happy he, and the City is putting
so much time and attention into it and allowing input from all the
diverse skate styles. The meeting was attended by a biker group
who passed out literature, namely 20 reasons why they think bikes
should be allowed in skateparks, and offered design ideas. They
were assured that this project is not exactly in its infancy, that
skateboarders pushed this forward over 10 years ago. It was planned,
approved, and funded out of the need for growing numbers of skateboarders
and a skate park in Santa Cruz. They were encouraged to begin their
own efforts for more places to ride bikes, but that this park is
designated and approved for skateboards, inline, and rollerskates
December, 2004 - Second
Design Workshop being held. Everyone is invited again to a sneak
peek of the proposed preliminary design Zach has come up with. The
SC Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring another workshop
for the public to review the preliminary design.
Thursday, December 16, 2004 67:30 pm at the Police Department
Community Room, 155 Center Street. Everyone is welcome, please
come and show your support and get a sneak preview of the skatepark!
Zach will have the design on his website on December 15th at http://skateparks.com
October, 2004 - The environmental
impact report has been approved by City Council! The City now will
be moving forward. Thanks to everybody who has helped support the
park, and thanks to City Council!
July 27th Design Workshop
- Neighbors and skaters and COPs OH MY! The design workshop at the
SC Police Community Room went extremely well. Zach Wormhoudt (Designer)
gave a great slide presentation, skaters modeled clay skateparks
and drew sketches to express their design ideas, and lots of questions
were answered by Susan Harris of Parks & Rec. Thanks to all
those who showed up, and to the City Parks and Rec. for alowing
us this opportunity.
July 18, 2004 - Thanks
for your update on the skate park. It is exciting that plans are
proceeding. We have a City Council meeting on 7/27 but I will try
to come observe some of the planning meeting that evening. Thanks
for all of your hard work keeping folks informed of what's happening
and providing a forum for people to air their views. I think it's
terrific that a skate park is in the works! Scott
Scott Kennedy, Mayor
City of Santa Cruz
809 Center Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 USA
July 17, 2004
- The task force has met a couple of times and two home owners of
the Lower Ocean area have volunteered to be on the committee, Jenny
Moore and Brent Gregory. Also volunteering are Keith Wilson of NHS
(Independent Marketing Mgr.), Sasha LaRochelle (Pro skater), Nicole
LaRochelle (Sasha's mom).
Parks & Rec. has been busy
involved with all the necessary environmental impact reports, leaving
no stones unturned. There had been concern about water table levels
that would affect the depth of the bowls, but the engineers and
Zach have come up with an elaborate drainage system that will be
under the entire footprint, so our nasty little Santa Cruz storms
will not affect the skatepark. There have been other possible design
solutions looked at to deal with any noise concerns.
The timeline estimate:
July - DESIGN WORKSHOP Tuesday July 27 6 to
7:30 pm at the Police Department Community Room 155 Center
Street. Skaters, neighbors and everyone are invited to come submit
their ideas on the park design. Zach, Parks & Rec. and some
of the task force will be there to talk to the public, collect their
design ideas, and answer questions. August we'll be in the design
phase, beginning a 45 day period for the EIR reports to be approved.
October, back to City Council for design approval. January 1st contractor
The river work currently being
done is not a part of the skatepark construction, however the skatepark
will be a part of the river beautification project. San Lorenzo
Blvd. is going to improve dramatically with the new park, landscape,
and sidewalk improvements.
Design Workshop Flyer:
skaters and neighbors, bring your ideas and questions...
Mike Fox Skate Park Design Workshop
Tuesday, July 27, 2004 6:00 to 7:30 pm
Police Department Community Room
155 Center Street, Santa Cruz
The City of Santa
Cruz Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring a design workshop
for the proposed skate park at Mike Fox Park. The project is anticipated
to go before the City Council for consideration in late fall of
2004. The skate park will be open to skateboarders and in-line skaters
only. Bicycles will be prohibited.
Bring any photos,
magazine pictures, drawings or models of skate parks. Do not miss
this opportunity to design your park!
For more information
about the workshop or the proposed skate park at Mike Fox Park,
please call the Parks and Recreation Department at 420-5362.
SC Sentinel Article,
July 1, 2004: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2004/July/01/local/stories/04local.htm
December, 2003 - City
Council unanimously approved Mike Fox Park as the location for the
permanent skatepark! Read all about it in today's Sentinel:
This is just the beginning of a long process, but the
problemsolving committee is determined and dedicated to making it
work for the best for everybody in Santa Cruz. Steve Hammack of
Parks & Rec. has volunteered to serve on the committee. We will
be recruiting neighbors of Lower Ocean St. to be on the committee.
Anyone interested please let me know and I'll add you to the list.
Thanks to everyone who involved themselves in this
process. Stay involved!
December 4, 2003 - Hello,
I'm a novice skateboarder up in the San Lorenzo Valley area. Skating
is very limited in the SLV area because of a lack of skateparks
and general areas to cruise around. The city of Ben Lomond pulled
together donations and was able to provide the area with a nice
but very tiny park which becomes packed when only a handful of people
show up to skate. Unfortunately this is also why I've seen kids
skating along Highway 9 as there is simply nowhere to skate for
the majority of SLV locals. I on the otherhand commute to Santa
Cruz. I've come to frequent Derby skate park as its mellow and not
so brutal for a beginner to practice. That is where I learned about
the Mike Fox proposal and learned about the debacle Santa Cruz skaters
have had to deal with over the course of the years. I admire the
local community's drive to create a permanent skatepark for the
area as it is such an asset for the area. I wish there was land
to build a skatepark in Boulder Creek because I honestly believe
it would help strengthen the community, one that is very disjointed
since the youth of SLV have very few recreational options. I feel
bad for the kids of Boulder Creek because all they can do is stand
around 'downtown' or catch a busride down to Ben Lomond for a session.
Anyways, I hope the meeting on the 9th goes well and I plan to write
a letter in support.
December 4, 2003 - Clarkie,
I was one of the Jessie street neighbors who supported the idea
of a skate park at mike fox park in principle. I have just looked
at your website, and one comment on it nearly pushed me the opposite
direction. "The neighborhood doesn't seem to have any valid reasons
to oppose a park, so ..." Honestly, the neighborhood has LOTS of
valid reasons to oppose a park. Several of us simply choose to mitigate
those reasons, because we wish to support teens. Please remove this
statement from your website. To be successful, you must respect
those who are helping to identify and prevent possible negative
impacts, and turn the skatepark into a positive for our beleaguered
neighborhood. Especially if you don't live in the neighborhood.
Rachel E. O'Malley
526 Barson (at Jessie) Santa Cruz, CA 95060
[Editor's Note: I reworded to read: "The neighborhood
opposers who spoke did not present any research, documents, or facts
to support their reasons to oppose a skatepark..."]
December 2, 2003 - The
December 1st meeting was successful! Minus one who opposed (he lives
in the neighborhood) the Parks and Recreation Commission voted to
recommend Mike Fox Park as the location for the permanent skatepark.
The Commission will propose this location to the Santa
Cruz City Council next Tuesday, Dec. 9th 3:pm. We need everybody
to show up again to that meeting. Say just what you said at the
last one, you were are all great with your speeches! or
e-mail before the meeting email@example.com
Very important still, even though we know you are tired of showing
up at meetings only to be rejected. But it's almost over. The neighborhood
opposers who spoke did not present any research, documents, or facts
to support their reasons to oppose a skatepark, so I feel confident
the Council will see that. However, Jim took notes during the meeting
of all the negative remarks opposers made and we will begin addressing
After the meeting, as promised, we formed a problem-solving
task force to deal with any issues during the skatepark building
and operating process. The committee so far:
Jason Strubing (SkateWorks)
Jim Howes (Santa Cruz Police)
Judi Oyama (pro skater)
John Hutson (pro skater)
Zach Wormhoudt (park designer)
Clarkie (that's me)
Steve Hammack (Parks & Rec)
Lower Ocean Neighbors (to be appointed)
See you Tuesday!
Next Meeting, Monday December 1,
BE THERE! Skaters need to show up and represent! (posted
Posted by the P&R Department:
Mike Fox Park to be considered for new skate park site.
On Dec 1, 2003 the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Commission
will consider whether to recommend Mike Fox Park as a permanent
site for a new skate park. The Commission's recommendation will
be forwarded to City Council. A new skate park site must be identified
because the current location, The Fun Spot, will be the site of
the future Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Center.
Members of the public wishing to comment on the proposed
new skate park site may speak at the Parks and Recreation Commission
on December 1, 2003 or submit comments in writing to the Commission.
Please address written comments to the Parks and Recreation Commission
and forward to the
Parks and Recreation Commission, City of Santa Cruz
323 Church Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, please call the Parks and Recreation
Department at (831) 420-5270
11/8 The meeting...didn't
go too well in spite of Steve Hammack's great presentation. Zach
wasn't there. I detected a surprising amount of bias, negative skater-pro
neighbor tone from some of the Parks Commission members. One member
suggested (again) the industry buy private land to build a skatepark,
I guess he meant to leave the city alone and get out of their hair.
He also suggested putting a roof on the sewer plant and letting
skaters skate there. I don't think he "gets" it. The neighbors were
posted about the meeting, (they are a very organized neighborhood
watch group calling themselves NOLO (neighbors of lower Ocean).
Though I think there was about equal time that we got flyers out
about the meeting, only one couple from the hood came, and about
20 pro skatepark people. 12 people spoke. The couple only complained
that they didn't get fair notice of the meeting, and that they don't
want a skatepark there saying it was hard enough getting use to
the tennis courts, and NOLO will be back! A couple of roller hockey
guys came but were pleasantly surprised the plan intends to keep
one tennis court for them.
The commission was very protective of the tennis courts
even though nobody supporting them showed up at the meeting. One
member said those courts get used more by tourists. Bottom line
the Commission wants to postpone their decision for 6 weeks giving
the hood time to organize their opposition.
So it's going to be a battle again and we need to better
organize and get more skaters and adults to appear at these meetings,
write letters, etc. I might add that it bothers me that skaters
are expected to keep fighting this and proving themselves over and
over, digging up statistics, and attending meetings. Didn't they
already win the battle when they won the grant to build the park
in the first place? But I guess mob rules, and we need to play the
There is, in fact, a close proximity to about 5 residences
in that area. But I think that with proper design it should eliminate
any noise fears. Other cities are dealing with it and coming up
with successful solutions. The City of Portland and the Portland
Skaters nonprofit has agreed to help us. They have given us some
statistics on noise and other info. They work closely with the Dreamland
builders and are willing to help us out provided we are going for
a decent, professional, skatepark which Santa Cruz so rightfully
The Parks & Rec Commission hasn't posted their
minutes of the meeting as yet. When they do, I will provide a link
here. If anyone has any comments on this please write to me, info(at)realskate.com
10/31/03 Well we won Carol Long lawsuit! But, as it
turns out, according to Steve Hammack of SC Parks & Rec, the
Neary Lagoon site is out anyway. Seems it has a contaminated soil
problem and a below ground level park can't be built without out
of cost bracket construction costs. It is also a hard location for
a builder to access thus driving up the costs even more.
Sooooooooooooo. Steve Hammack and Zach Wormhoudt (our
park designer) will be making a proposal to build the permanent
park at Mike Fox Park moving the tennis courts to the Neary site.
Steve and Zach will present
this proposal to the Parks and Rec commission, and we need to get
behind and support them.
It is important we have a huge skater and skater parent turnout
at that meeting. Please come. Monday Nov. 3rd, 4pm at City Hall,
809 Center Street.
See you there!
Cruz City Park History - Or, what a
long strange trip it's been! A must read.