About the Skatepark Project
Who is behind the AV Skatepark Project?
This project was initiated by students on the Anderson Valley Service Learning Team, an AV Jr/Sr High School after-school leadership group that empowers students to make positive change in the community. The Anderson Valley Community Service District (AVCSD) Recreation Committee has partnered with our student group to advance this project, including fiscal sponsorship of the project. Various community volunteers have also jumped on board and have helped with various stages of planning and development.
Why a skatepark in AV?
The need for public recreation space in Anderson Valley is critical. Anderson Valley is virtually void of healthy gathering spaces and recreation opportunities, particularly for young people, and this is undoubtedly linked to the high rate of substance use in our junior and senior high. Particularly in the post-COVID era of increased mental health needs among teens, it is essential that we invest in the development of healthy outlets to promote physical and mental well-being. A skatepark will inspire AV youth to be more active and foster cross-generational community connection. Skateparks are a rare space where community members of all ages -- from toddlers to retirees -- share recreation together, making for meaningful and vibrant community connection.
Where will the skatepark be located?
The skatepark will be located in Boonville, California, on land that will form an extension of the Anderson Valley Community Park, which is located in between the AV Health Center and the AV Jr/Sr High School. In 2022, students identified the empty acre contiguous to the park as an ideal site for the project due to its central and highly visible location. However, the site and adjacent Community Park were owned by the AV School District, and skatepark development would not be possible on school district land. The students and AVCSD consequently began a joint effort to transfer the entire park property (with skatepark extension) from AVUSD to AVCSD hands. On November 9th, 2022, the AVUSD school board voted unanimously in favor of transferring the AV Community Park property (with additional skatepark site extension) to the AVCSD, at a price of $1. The grant deed transfer from AVUSD to AVCSD was completed on May 18, 2023.
How was the skatepark designed?
AV Service Learning Team students, their facilitators, and a team of AV Skatepark Project volunteers (including a licensed engineer, architect, contractor and graphic designer) have worked together to complete the initial stages of project planning to inform construction. We contracted design-build firm Frontier Skateparks to create a custom design tailored to community preferences and our specific site characteristics.
The design process entailed:
Completion of stormwater drainage and topographic surveys, and preliminary drainage and grading plan.
Completion of geotechnical survey.
Development of scaled site plan.
Two community skatepark design meetings:
In Community Design Meeting #1, Frontier designers interacted with AV students and community members to explore future users' preferences and ideas through discussion, sketches and clay modeling.
In Community Design Meeting #2, Frontier designers presented two draft skatepark designs, and gathered community preferences and detailed feedback for modifications.
Coordination with AV emergency services chief Andres Avila, who worked with Frontier Skatepark designers to ensure optimal emergency services access.
Coordination with Mendocino County Building & Planning Department to ensure compliance with county code requirements.
The community design process culminated with a 3-D rendering of our 12,500 sq ft custom-designed skatepark, set in its permanent location, and a more precise cost estimate for construction. The final design was created to accommodate both beginners and advanced skaters, and will welcome skate boarders, roller skaters, bikers and scooters of all ages.
What other features will be developed around the skatepark?
In addition to a skatepark, the development plan includes a viewing area with seating, a water fountain, access paths, landscaping with native plants, a bioswale to accommodate drainage, new trash and recycling receptacles (with mosaic panels) and an entrance wall that will feature mosaic and donor appreciation tiles. This plan has been developed in tandem with other park development projects being planned by the AV Community Services District, including a large covered pavilion with community kitchen and a Greenflush vault restroom, in addition to other proposed developments.
How much will the project cost?
The skatepark and surrounding features listed above (excluding the community pavilion and restroom) will cost approximately $1,167,100.
How will the skatepark be funded and when will it be built?
We are applying for a state CalTrans grant called the Clean CA Local Grant Program to cover the full cost of the construction phase. Grant awards will be announced in September 2023. If we are awarded the grant, all work must be completed by June 2026.
Will a skatepark attract unwanted behavior?
No, skateparks actually do the opposite by inspiring people of all ages to engage in healthy activity and connection. There are myriad opportunities in Boonville for people to engage in unhealthy behavior in locations where they can be unseen. The proposed location for this skatepark is in an open, highly visible area, making it an unattractive site for illegal activity.
What about liability?
California regulation grants immunity to public institutions housing skateparks as long as a local ordinance is passed to establish safety regulations for the skatepark and safety regulation signs are posted publicly.
VOICES FROM THE COMMUNITY
Skaters in Anderson Valley Jr./Sr. High School were interviewed about why they believed a skatepark would benefit the community, where they currently skate, and the types of activities they do in town.
AV community member Brennon Moore speaks in support of the AV Skatepark Project