$500,000 Truckee skatepark project gaining momentum | SierraSun.com

$500,000 Truckee skatepark project gaining momentum

Josh Staab
jstaab@sierrasun.com

TRUCKEE, Calif. — If there was ever a question about Truckee's relationship with skateboarding, it was laid to rest last week with approval to move forward with plans for a new skatepark.

"To have a community unanimously approve a project like this on the first try is humongous," said Shane Sintay, owner/operator of the Truckee-based snowboard shop Arbor Boardhouse, which opened in January.

At its May 28 meeting, the Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District Board of Directors unanimously OK'd the Rocker Memorial Skatepark Project, which proposes integrating a 25,000-square-foot skate park with the old skate park in an outdoor, garden-like setting at Truckee River Regional Park.

Considering the community has rallied behind the project, Sintay said TDRPD's approval seemed like a no-brainer to him.

“There are a lot of skateboarders in town, and it fits in with the district’s mission statement. Parks and Rec wants to be on the cutting edge of things.”Steve RandallTDRPD General Manager

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"To have the community behind action sports (which Truckee is), one of the things I took from the meeting was 'why don't we have a skatepark here?'" Sintay said.

Ashley Galleher, executive director with CharitySmith, a nonprofit organization helping with the project, described the approval as a large hurdle in the planning process.

"If there was any public opposition, there probably wasn't going to be a chance it was going to happen," Galleher said.

CharitySmith will work with the Rocker Memorial Skatepark Committee to spearhead fundraising, Galleher said.

"CharitySmith is assuming full fiscal responsibility for all the actual money raised," said Galleher, meaning it will process funds and hold onto them in order for the Truckee committee to retain 501(c)3 status.

Last week's approval is just the first step. Now organizers need to raise money to build the park, which is estimated to cost $500,000, said TDRPD general manager Steve Randall.

"There are a lot of skateboarders in town, and it fits in with the district's mission statement," Randall said. "Parks and Rec wants to be on the cutting edge of things."

As for what's next, developers need to consider environmental impacts by working with the Truckee River Watershed Council and the town of Truckee.

"The environmental impact process will take a minimum of to 4 months," Randall said.

The skatepark — named in honor of resident Steve "Rocker" Anderson, who died in an avalanche on Donner Summit Dec. 24, 2012 — would be built in two phases if it gains necessary environmental and agency approvals, Galleher said.

After completion of the first phase, the park will be open to the public while phase two begins.

Galleher mentioned about $20,000 in donations have already been received. Until this point, however, fundraising has been limited to events held at concerts, bars, and from people who personally knew Anderson.

"Now, we can open (fundraising) up to the community," Galleher said. "People (were) hesitant to donate money to a potential skatepark … Now we have a place. It's official, it's been approved."

CharitySmith will work on which organizations and individuals to appeal to for donations, Galleher said.

"The more we make ourselves known and brand (the project), then we'll no longer have to worry about the fundraising," she said.

While several steps remain, for Sintay, having a skatepark in town is not only a blessing, but also a community responsibility.

"The momentum at the meeting was amazing, but we need to turn that into long-term energy for success," Sintay said. "We just need to keep the stoke alive, through getting funds raised, getting both phases completed (and) to maintain it long-term, keeping it graffiti free, drug free, and keeping it clean and keeping it safe."

If you go

What: Rocker Memorial Skatepark celebration/informative open house

Where: Arbor Boardhouse, 11486 Donner Pass Road, Truckee

When: 4-8 p.m., Wednesday, June 3

More: rockermemorial.org

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To donate

To make a tax-deductible donation to the skatepark, visit rockermemorial.org, or mail a check to Rocker Memorial Skatepark, c/o CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation, 13100 Filly Lane Truckee, CA 96161.