Dallas Skatepark & Garland Skatepark UPDATE (An Interview with Skate Parks For Dallas)

Dallas Skatepark & Garland Skatepark UPDATE (An Interview with Skate Parks For Dallas)

A while back I interviewed an organization called Skate Parks for Dallas. This was right around the time that the City of Dallas was voting on whether or not they were going to fund our first real, public skatepark in the city of Dallas, (sorry, St. Francis, I said “real”). Their goal was to make sure this dream came to fruition…and it did.

Shortly after I published that article, the proposition was passed. A year and a half later and here we are: the money has been allocated, but I haven’t heard much more about it. For an update, I sat down with Skate Parks for Dallas owner, Clinton Haley.

Jay Paul Sanchez, Clinton Haley, Warren Christie, Eric Eley and Ryan Crane at Bachmann Lake

Jay Paul Sanchez, Clinton Haley, Warren Christie, Eric Eley and Ryan Crane at Bachmann Lake

 

It's been a little over a year and a half since we did our first article on you guys in November 2017. What have you guys been up to since?

November 2017 was when Dallas taxpayers voted to invest $4 million in a regional skatepark at Bachman Lake. What a victory for Dallas skateboarders! We knew that was huge, but also knew it was only the beginning of a longer process.

Dallas Parks and Rec discussions:
Since that time, we have met almost quarterly with Dallas Parks and Rec to stay up to date on the latest developments and to provide the skateboarder’s perspective on ideal locations at Bachman Lake (visibility and access to light rail) and advice on potential park builders. More recently, we provided Dallas Parks and Rec with input for the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) document that hopefully will go out in August to potential skatepark designers.

Bachman/Love Field Drainage Task Force:
We were part of the task force appointed by the City Council to research and decide how best to accomplish the drainage needs of Love Field, while preserving Bachman Lake and its amenities. This enabled us to help determine the best interests of Bachman Lake Park and the neighborhood, while insuring the future skatepark was included in the plans. It was a very interesting experience and feel grateful to have been a part of it.

Neighborhood Consensus-building:
We met with neighborhood leaders of the Bachman neighborhood and informed them about the benefits of skateboarding and potential programming we could implement for Dallas kids at the future skatepark. Subsequently, they invited us to speak at the Bachman Neighborhood Association meeting, where we presented slides depicting what a modern skatepark might look like and its benefits to the neighborhood. It was well-received. We also met with leaders of the new Friends of Bachman Lake and answered questions, addressed concerns, and strategized how we might work together in the future.

Searching for additional Dallas skatepark sites and donations:
With the help of the Dallas Parks Foundation, we have pursued leads for other potential Dallas skatepark sites. For example, there was an unsold property near downtown that the owner was considering to donate, but ultimately sold. We also have met with people interested in donating money to a new skatepark in Dallas and keep them up to date on the latest developments.
— CH
Possible Skatepark location near Bachman Lake

Possible Skatepark location near Bachman Lake

 

Last we talked, Dallas was voting on a prop to allocate money toward a public park. What progress has been made on that since 2017?

Fortunately, the bond proposition was passed, which allocated $4 million to a Bachman Lake Skatepark. The Bachman/Love Field Task Force provided recommendations to City Council in April, which has enabled the City to proceed with needed reinforcement of the current dam.

Dallas Parks and Rec plans to issue the Request for Qualifications for the Skatepark Design Phase in August, through which they will determine what company will design the skatepark. The chosen company will need to work with the dam’s engineers in selecting the appropriate location for the skatepark. The bond money is scheduled to be released for the park the last quarter of this year, but building likely will need to wait until the dam work is completed.
— CH

After revisiting the Skateparks for Dallas website multiple times since we last spoke, I noticed you guys have focused on other parks being built in the Dallas area as well. Can you tell us a little bit about the other projects going on?

We were asked to attend the Garland City Council meeting in October 2017, to inform the Council of the benefits of skateparks and skateboarding. We attended the meeting and comments were well-received, but the proposed location was contentious. Fortunately, Garland and its Mayor Pro Tem, Rich Aubin, maintained the momentum and acquired a new location. SPA/New Line Skateparks already have conducted the first community input session and the second one is scheduled for Tuesday, September 10th, which we will attend.
— CM

Lastly, what are your future plans for “Skate Parks for Dallas” as a website and as the individuals running it?

The website, Facebook and Instagram will continue to provide platforms through which we can keep skaters, community members, and city officials up to date on Dallas skateboarding, concepts involved in designing and building skateparks, and timetables and events pertaining to those skateparks in Dallas and adjoining cities that are in the developmental phases. The hope is that if more skateboarders and community members are aware of community events where we all can advocate for skateparks, more of us will attend and become interested in skatepark advocacy.
— CM
 

Huge thank you to Clinton Haley and Nick DiCarlo from Skate Parks for Dallas for giving me an update on the skateparks all of us locals have been dreaming of. I’ve dropped links below to their website and social. Be sure to support these guys and stay tuned for more info on these park build outs!

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