Skateboarding ‘jam’ will help build skate park

Sam Hadden, 14, shows off some fancy moves at the temporary skateboard ramps at South Kitsap Regional Park this week. A Ramp Jam is scheduled for Aug. 29. - Jeff Rhodes/Staff Photo
Sam Hadden, 14, shows off some fancy moves at the temporary skateboard ramps at South Kitsap Regional Park this week. A Ramp Jam is scheduled for Aug. 29.
— image credit: Jeff Rhodes/Staff Photo

They’re only temporary, but South Kitsap resident Leslie Reynolds-Taylor is very happy to have the wooden skateboarding ramps now up in South Kitsap Regional Park.

“It’s pretty darn cool,” said Reynolds-Taylor, president of the South Kitsap Skate Park Association (SKSPA). “There are always kids out there using them.”

The ramps are waiting for Saturday’s Ramp Jam II, the SKSPA’s second fundraising event. The first was held Memorial Day weekend and was “very successful,” according to Kitsap County Parks Project Coordinator Martha Droge.

“It was well-attended, and showed the need for this kind of facility in the area,” she said.

In December, the Kitsap County Commissioners approved a master plan for the 200-acre park that includes a permanent skate park near the park’s entrance on Lund Avenue. A concept for the skate park created by New Line Skateparks, Inc., has also been approved, which Droge called the “first, most important phase.”

Droge said that the price tag for phase one of the skate park is $400,000, of which the county has committed $300,000.

“We are asking the community to come up with the remaining $100,000,” she said. “The association is doing a fantastic job. I am confident that they are on their way to raising it.”

“We have raised $12,000 of our own money,” Reynolds-Taylor said, adding that the association also received $5,000 from the Tony Hawk Foundation and $10,000 from the Port Orchard Rotary Club.

To raise the rest, the association is holding fundraisers like Saturday’s jam, which charges participants $10 to compete in novice, intermediate and advanced categories.

Reynolds-Taylor said the event will have “sponsor throw-outs,” and all proceeds “will go directly toward the (permanent) park.”

“Our job is also to raise awareness of the need for getting our children off the streets and into the park,” she said. “Right now, there really isn’t anywhere else for them to go, other than behind the businesses or on the streets, which is not safe.”

But she believes having a dedicated skate park won’t only be good for skateboarders, but benefit the surrounding area and businesses, as well.

“Having this park will put Port Orchard on the map,” she said, describing a recent trip she took to Portland with her son and one of his friends.

“We visited seven skate parks in seven days, and over that week I paid for hotels, meals, and shopping,” she said, adding that if Port Orchard had a first-class skate park, it could attract people “from all over the country.”

At least for now, however, Reynolds-Taylor said she is looking forward to Saturday’s event, and is happy to have the temporary ramps in place.

“It’s pretty heartwarming to see these kids so happy,” she said.

Droge said further design of the skate park is on hold as a topographical survey of the park is completed. “But we almost have all of that data done, and I expect we can start work again soon.”

If You Go

What: Ramp Jam II

When: Saturday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: SK Regional Park, Jackson and Lund avenues

How much: $10 to compete

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