Won't be long!


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 the site.
• 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 27th.

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 only.

More Pictures

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 6–7:30 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.

More Pictures

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 bids.

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:

Skateboarders, 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.
Thank you,
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 citycouncil@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us 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 them immediately.

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, 4:00pm
BE THERE! Skaters need to show up and represent!
(posted 11/17)

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: dnielsen@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us

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 game.

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 deserves.

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!

Santa Cruz City Park History - Or, what a long strange trip it's been! A must read.




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