Friends of Salida Skateparks (FOSS) PRESS RELEASE : August 16, 2021
Since its formation as a community volunteer group in 2018, members of Friends of Salida Skateparks (FOSS) have supported retaining the downtown skatepark upon completion of the new skatepark. However, the downtown skatepark is on city property and its fate has never been up FOSS. To this end, FOSS has taken a neutral position while the new skatepark has been under construction at Centennial Park.
Over the last two years, FOSS members have expressed a desire to participate in decision making with regard to the fate of the downtown skate park. So, while it is unfortunate that FOSS was not consulted about an arts project in that location, members understand these are busy times for hardworking council members, and the Public Arts Commission has presumably been working in good faith, unaware that there was so much support to retain the skatepark.
It is one of Colorado’s first skateparks. Locals have said it's a safe place for kids downtown, and even a sacred place for many. To this end, a discussion about “the need for two skate parks” is to miss the point.
A community driven petition to save the downtown skatepark has been circulating. While the petition was not spearheaded by FOSS, after careful consideration, meetings with various city council members, members of the Public Arts Commission, as well as discussions with Mayor Wood, FOSS will be adding its name to the petition. As of this writing, the petition has over 1300 signatures.
FOSS did not foresee the amount of people, especially parents and long-time locals, who are asking to keep it "our downtown skatepark." FOSS members believe that this increasing sentiment should change the mission of the Public Arts Commission (PAC), who were recently given the charge of making it a public art space. In August, funds were allocated by the city to explore options.
With a reasonable review process, FOSS could support an art installation that would allow for continued use of the downtown skatepark.
FOSS is grateful for the city’s support of the new skatepark and their flexibility as we all recognize the downtown skatepark is a local treasure for many, built during harder times in Salida. It’s remains a testament to how Salida prioritizes its kids.
For the many people who have donated money for lights and amenities at the new skate park, the city has stated that "Phase 2 of the new park will begin immediately after the concrete is dry.”
The Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of the new Salida Skatepark will be held at Centennial Park on August 21 from 11am - 1pm. There will be an open skate for all ages and a free community bbq.