In 1995, Polson’s original skatepark was constructed on the corner of 7th Avenue East and 7th Street. At that time, the skatepark consisted of a concrete slab with ramps and rails made by locals, whose parents would help in the construction of new wooden ramps etc. The landowner, Montana Rail Link, chose to demolish the slab and took the skatepark along with it in fall of 2004. This left many young people without a place to recreate and enjoy their sports.
The need for a new skatepark was quickly identified in January 2005. Planning and fundraising efforts ensued. At that time, an anonymous donor had committed to donate $2 for every $1 the community could raise for building a new park. In 2006, the Polson community succeeded and raised $286,000 to construct a new skatepark on 7th Avenue West. The skatepark was professionally designed and constructed. However, a shortcoming lies in its blueprints: the park was built to accommodate the experienced riders who had gained their knowledge and skills at the original park on 7th Avenue East and 7th Street. The obstacles and features of the existing park are not accommodating for younger or inexperienced riders. Because of this, young and inexperienced riders often give the sport up because it is too challenging to learn with this park’s more-advanced facility. A group of park users noticed this issue and approached the City of Polson about expanding the existing park to include more space and obstacles for beginner riders. The Polson City Council happily approved the project with a caveat that the expansion needed to be supported with monetary and in-kind donations and not tax revenue.
The goal of the project is to expand the skatepark in order to provide people of all ages and skill levels a safe place to learn, practice, and master their sport. The project proposes to extend each side of the existing skating facility by approximately 20 feet in each direction, giving an estimated total expanded area of 13,000 square feet.
The existing skatepark is a tremendously valuable asset with many benefits for community members. The park engages young people in an outdoor environment; promotes activities that are non-competitive and individual; supports health and physical fitness; and offers a valuable diversion from antisocial and mischievous behavior. Expansion of the park will heighten its benefit to the community and young people residing within the boundaries of the Flathead Reservation and beyond.
We ask that you consider becoming a sponsor in this project and join us in the effort to expand the Polson Skatepark to make a real difference in the lives of our community!