Augusta Skate Park Project Moves Forward – Butler County Times-Gazette
By Chad Frey Times Gazette
A project to build a skate park in Augusta gained momentum this week – a grant from a foundation dedicated to helping bring skate parks to life, complementing fundraising efforts and other grant applications .
“We’re very excited. We know people have been waiting for this for a long time,” said Susie Geiger, Augusta’s assistant city manager. that, we’re just waiting for the financial pieces to come together.
The plan is to build a skate park, a $200,000 project, at Bill Reed Park.
The City of Augusta announced this week that the project has been selected to receive a $15,000 grant from the Skatepark Project (formerly known as the Tony Hawk Foundation)
To date, Project Skatepark grants have helped create nearly 700 public skate parks across the United States, used by approximately 6 million people a year, and improve our communities through better access to skate parks. free, public and fun recreation.
The Skatepark Project has funded regional projects in Newton (Okerberg Park, $5,000, 2003) and Derby (Derby Skatepark, $1,000, 2004).
The Augusta Project has its roots in a 2002 movement that saw a private group start raising funds for a project. This project fell by the wayside, getting a reboot in 2015.
In 2015, a group of skaters attended a park advisory board meeting and asked the parks department and the city to consider moving forward with a project to build an outdoor skate park.
During this period, the city commission elected to extend a one-cent sales tax and use that money for community improvement projects.
One of them is this skate park – the city has committed around $75,000 to the project.
“The current effort that has city funding and momentum behind it,” Geiger said.
A local group, led by Josh Burns, also raised funds privately. With a godfundme campaign, the group reached a goal of $25,000 in April.
This group has continued to move forward – Burns said current fundraising efforts are for the construction of a shade structure.
The band raised about an additional $2,500 at https://www.gofundme.com/f/augusta-kansas-skatepark.
There is one final funding the project is awaiting – a grant application from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which has been recommended for approval to the National Park Service by the State of Kansas for $104,489.50.
Geiger said the park services office is “backed up” right now, which has delayed the grant application.
“Barring a major gift or other appropriate grant opportunity, this LWCF funding will be required to continue the project,” Burns said. “So the skatepark project is currently in wait-and-see mode for the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, our local skaters continued their fundraising efforts.
The city, however, still plans to move forward.
“We hope to start working on it this year, or next year in 2023,” Geiger said. “…If you would like to get involved, do not hesitate to contact the city…There are many opportunities to support the project.