Skatepark has a location and they’re making a plan with the help of the city, all they need now is moneyThanks to support from the city of Cloquet, local skateboard enthusiasts are one step closer to their goal of resurrecting a local skate park. The city made that support official last month, when it allocated up to $3,000 for a site plan – on the condition that the Cloquet Skatepark Club also fund between $1,000 and $1,500 of the costs – and set Athletic Park on 14th Street as the preferred location of a new skate park.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Thanks to support from the city of Cloquet, local skateboard enthusiasts are one step closer to their goal of resurrecting a local skate park. The city made that support official last month, when it allocated up to $3,000 for a site plan – on the condition that the Cloquet Skatepark Club also fund between $1,000 and $1,500 of the costs – and set Athletic Park on 14th Street as the preferred location of a new skate park.
It’s a movement that’s been gaining steam over the past year or so, according to Matt Anderson, who said Cloquet has been without any official skateboarding facility since the previous skate park in the West End’s Wentworth Park was closed in 2007.
“We grew up skateboarding in that park,” Anderson said. “A lot of kids from Duluth would come down and skate. It was great, before everything turned sour and a lot of non-skaters came there and spoiled it.”
City officials said the old park was closed because of concerns about excessive garbage, fighting and drug and alcohol violations, among other things.
“A couple years went by and me and a few friends had been pitching the idea of making a new skate park back and forth,” Anderson said. “About a year ago, I realized nobody else was stepping up.”
Since then the Skatepark Club has held multiple fund-raising events, skateboarding demonstrations and created T-shirts and buttons with the slogan: “Resurrect the dead.”
At 3 p.m. Sunday, May 29, they will hold another demonstration event/fundraiser at Cloquet’s Veterans Park, on Avenue B. There will be skate demos, contests, an open jam and a “product toss” with prizes courtesy of Damage Board Shop of Duluth and Mofunna Skateboards of Cloquet. The group also meets at 5 p.m. every Wednesday at Veterans Park. Anyone is welcome.
Although the group was originally pitching Pinehurst Park as a potential location, they’re equally happy with Athletic Park. One reason Athletic Park was chosen as a potential site was because of its central location and the fact that a skate park located in a place where many families visit is less likely to attract the kind of undesirable behaviors that ruined things at the previous park.
A wish list for the new park goes something like this: street elements like handrails and stairs, plus quarterpipes, banks, hips and possibly a bowl.
“We want it designed and put together in a way that will flow,” Anderson said. “That way it would be fun and it wouldn’t get old. That’s the goal when designing and building skate parks.”
A new skate park won’t come cheap, even if the city provides the land. Estimates gathered a year ago for the first concrete slab alone came in between $12,000 and $15,000. That doesn’t include any of the specialized equipment required for a skate park, although initially the Skatepark Club plans to use ramps from the former Esko skate park until they can raise enough money to finish the new park. The group is also looking for people willing to donate labor and time.
Anderson said the deadline for raising all the funds for the skate park construction is July 2012. However, they would like to put the concrete slab down this summer.
At 3 p.m. Sunday, May 29 Skatepark Club members will hold a fundraiser at Cloquet’s Veterans Park, on Avenue B next to the St. Louis River. There will be skate demos, contests, an open jam with food available to purchase. To find out more, e-mail
email@example.com or call Matt Anderson at (218)590-9710.