Advocates For Portland Skateparks

We want more covered skatepark spaces in Portland to exist! We are the home of the internationally known legendary Burnside Skatepark- yet we lack any city funded public covered skatepark that elevates and pays tribute to the legacy of Burnside Skatepark.

We want to accelerate the creation of legal year round useable spaces for us to practice the many sports that utilize skateparks. Portland ranks third on the list of cities with the rainiest days in the country with 164 rainy days a year. This is almost 1/2 of the year containing rain during the day. Skateparks cannot be wet at all for people to safely use them as intended. Covered, paid indoor skateparks at the professional level are not existent in Portland and very hard to keep their doors open, especially because of business restrictions during this time. All of this reasoning points to the need for the acceleration of outdoor public spaces to practice our sports.

Cities such as Eugene, Oregon, have figured out how to pull off a state of the art skatepark with lights that are on most of the night, coupled with basketball courts, public restrooms, green spaces, and other activities nearby. What is holding us back in Portland?

In 2008 a skatepark masterplan document was drafted for the city of Portland, which helped outline the need and strategy of implementing a series of skateparks throughout the city. The plan called for the creation of multiple skateparks throughout the city, 5 of which would be covered for year round usage. 13 years later, we have 0 of the 5 proposed covered skateparks, yet the city of Portland has grown exponentially- along with its tax base and potential users of these spaces.

There is a staggering need that is not being met.

Skateboarding, BMX, and Rollerskating are the main sports that use skateparks and they are exponentially growing sports. The cost of entry is minimal, no team coordination is necessary, and they are sports that involve devices that double as sustainable forms of transportation. Everything is great about these sports for our cities. What is not so good and has been an issue is practicing these sports in areas where they are not permitted. In the 1990s skateboarding was not legal on sidewalks in Portland. This changed with community advocacy. Burnside Skatepark was not initially condoned by the city to exist. Again, this changed with community advocacy work. So here we are in 2021, with some great city funded outdoor skateparks to ride, however none of which can be used for nearly 1/2 of the year.

We feel that it is time to take a serious look at the creation of a series of covered skateparks throughout the city. Portland could lead the charge in the United States in developing a series of covered skateparks that would promote these creative, healthy lifestyle sports that our city is so well known for. This year Skateboarding and BMX are slated to be in the 2021 Olympics. With this surge in popularity these sports will continue to grow, and we believe it is important our city embrace the culture that birthed the public skatepark movement throughout the globe.

Let’s get to work!

Resources:

2008 Portland Skatepark Masterplan: https://www.portland.gov/sites/default/files/2020/skatepark-system-plan-2008.pdf

Skaters for Portland Skateparks: https://skateportland.org/

City of Portland Skateboarding Resource Page: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/50045

The Skatepark Project: https://skatepark.org/public-skateparks/

Sign a petition and Get Involved! Current efforts being made in Portland:

Save Big John’s Skatepark: https://www.change.org/p/save-big-johns-skate-project

Burnside Skatepark Fund Me: https://www.gofundme.com/f/burnside

Next Steps

With time and effort we hope to come up with proposals for different locations throughout the city that could benefit from covered skateparks. We would love to start by incorporating them into the beautiful already existing architecture our city is known for, so as to minimize initial costs and impact. As we learn from these projects, we hope to keep expanding the offerings and eventually have a system of covered skateparks accessible to all Portlanders within a short distance so they may practice their respective sports all year round.

Please check back as we build our ideas and projects out! Thanks for checking out our movement. We appreciate your continued support!