Tony Hawk Supports SF Rec and Park Skatepark Initiative

SF Rec and Park receives grant from Tony Hawk Foundation to build skatepark

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD) announced today an acceptance of $10,000 grant award from Tony Hawk Foundation to help build skatepark in San Francisco.  This grant will kick start the development of SOMAWest Skatepark, and a series of efforts to build and improve other skateparks in the City.

A 2010 report published by the Outdoor Foundation found that skateboarding is the third most favored outdoor activity for American youth between the ages 6 and 17 and that nearly 10% of the US population had engaged in skateboarding at least once in 2009. 

“Skateboarding provides a healthy and fun outlet for San Francisco youth, and we are proud to be building skateparks and offering skateboarding camps all year round to meet their demand,” said Phil Ginsburg, RPD General Manager.  “We are thankful for Tony Hawk Foundation for their support in our mission to better serve our young people.”

The SOMA West Skatepark will primarily serve youth from San Francisco’s Inner Mission neighborhood which is a diverse, low-income community characterized by high populations of youth under the age of 18.  The Inner Mission has the highest population of Hispanic residents than any other district inSan Franciscoat 43%.  It also has one of the highest saturations of households with children under the age of 18 (32%) as well as the second lowest per capital income at $21,423.  Moreover, low-income Latino and African American children ages 5 to 19 have the highest rates of obesity, with rates highest among low-income Latino children at 28.3%. Therefore, providing Inner Mission district youth with access to a nearby skatepark facility will engage at-risk teens in a healthy and safe activity during critical out-of-school time.

With the goal of providing healthy and safe recreational activities for the City’s youth, RPD is evaluating a permanent skatepark at Waller and Stanyan Streets to meet the needs of the youth living in the west side of the City.  Temporary skate elements have been installed with additional drop-in hours on Friday’s during the pilot project so RPD can evaluate community impact of the potential multi-use skatepark at this location in the coming months before making it permanent for all youth to enjoy.

“I am thrilled to see the development of a new skatepark in San Francisco. As a skateboarding advocate, parent, and educator, I have seen skateboarding serve as a positive influence towards hundreds of young people in San Francisco,” said Cory Chechile, a neighbor of Waller Street Skatepark, SFUSD school social worker and secretary of San Francisco Skateboarding Association.  “Skateparks are places where kids with different backgrounds and life circumstances can interact in a positive, healthy setting. Thank you, SF Rec and Park, for supporting San Francisco’s skateboard community!”

“I am incredibly proud to see that the Waller Street Skatepark becoming a pilot project serving youth and families from the west side of our City,” said Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.  “This project has been a long time coming and it is a great example that with commitment and strong collaboration between the City and communities, we can accomplish so much.”

“I am so pleased that SF Rec and Park is providing a skatepark at Waller Street, and skateboarding camps at Richmond Recreation Center where there has been a lack of skateboarding opportunity for our youth in the past,” said Supervisor Eric Mar.  “I encourage everyone to get involved and be active!”

SF Rec and Park continues to cultivate partnership with Tony Hawk Foundation as the foundation’s mission is to create safe, legal, public skateboard parks for underserved populations to practice skateboarding, a sport that provides the opportunity for much-needed exercise, helps to build confidence, teaches youth to persevere, and gives them a sense of self-esteem.

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