THE DIY IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF
Whatever the outcome of the Housing Authority’s efforts is, I think the skating community deserves to have a permanent space that they can continue to contribute to. DIY skatepark has been a special kind of place that has built community and provided mentorship, and no matter where it is located, is an asset to Kansas City’s culture. It deserves a place that has no long-term question-marks.
Abby Kinney (neighborhood resident and urban planner)
THE DIY HAS BROUGHT PEOPE AND REVENUE TO
My first time coming to Harrison street was about two years ago. I was just getting back into skateboarding and I was pretty nervous being there. Seeing guys like Scotty Laird rip there left a huge imprint on me, I felt like I was where Kansas City skateboarding was actually happening. After my first lap around the park I was immediately in love. I drove down as much as I could and I went on to have a lot of "firsts" there. My first axle stall, my first big drop in, my first rock to fakie will all be permanent memories I have. Everyone I met, I told about the park, it was where I listed as my favourite place in Kansas City and no other skatepark came close.
Whether it's the feeling, the culture, or the people you meet, there's always a reason why it's better than your local park. Half of my goals in skating revolve around Harrison St. and trying to skate on the same level as the park regulars. Harrison Street is also the only park my girlfriend has been willing to step on a skateboard, which should say something about its attraction. I will be devastated to see anything happen to this park.
Alex Norcross (local skater)
"The skatepark has a local, regional, and national reputation, bringing loads of skaters to the area. Visit the park anytime--you’ll meet people from out of town who have made the journey to KC specifically to visit the skatepark. Of course, they spend money in our community while they’re here and they add to the local culture and commerce."
Dan Wayne (Columbus Neighborhood Park resident and possible future developer)
Reilly Tardiff (visiting skater)
"My dad and I were driving cross country to the west and stopped in planning to skate the few parks in the area, a local told us to check out the Harrison Street DIY so we got the evening sesh as guys were finishing the deck on the bank/quarter over the manhole. The scene was incredible so we ended up staying the night and skating again all day the next day. I was bummed to leave, the scene and overall experience at this spot is the best I’ve come across and I hope to get to skate it again soon. Very inclusive, clearly community driven and improving the area for all. Much love and respect to all involved
THE DIY HAS BUILT COMMUNITY
“Harrison Street Park isn’t just a skatepark but it is a piece of art that the community has come together to help build.”
Elyse Stubbz (local skater, business owner, and leader of Women's skate group, “Board Meeting”)
Both my friends and immediate family have been around and connected to Harrison Street DIY since it’s inception. My friends and I have all learned to skate there and brother has been a huge advocate whilst living in KC and living in Portland. The communal bond shared between long time skaters and newcomers has been strengthened through the DIY’s ability to create lasting memories and in turn lasting friendships. It’s destruction will only prove the Cities lack of knowledge and care of this tight-knit community that brings in people from all around the world. The day Harrison Street DIY is gone is the day a group of not only skaters but friends with strong relationships and memories will be ruined.
-Max Claycomb (local skater)
-Bella (young skater)
What the folks who created Harrison St. have done is nothing short of remarkable. The amount of work and love they poured into that spot over the years is immeasurable. Along with creating an entire supportive, inclusive community of their own, they have inspired others to do the same in their communities.
in Lawrence, the Edgewood DIY skatepark wouldn’t exist at all if it weren’t for them, as their crew literally helped us with multiple builds and inspired us. Every community can benefit from an organic DIY like theirs, and I really hope the land being developed around Harrison St can include the park and the rich community already fostered there.
-JP Redmon (Lawrence, Kansas skater)
THE DIY IS WELCOMING TO ALL
My name is Rachael Curran and I've lived in Kansas City for almost 3 years now. I loved skating as a kid but was never very good or confident with it. When I got a deck last year, I asked a coworker what was a good spot and he said Harrison St. DIY. This place is amazing and so fun. I love going in the mornings and just skate around to chill. I'm so grateful for a place like this where I feel comfortable as an LGBT person to come and skate. I hope the DIY stays for everyone and continues to care about the community.
Thanks again, Rae
-Rachael Curran, Local Skater
Hey, my name is Anna Marten and I’ve been a roller skater in Kansas City for eight years. After I left a roller derby league, I had difficulty finding a space to learn and enjoy new skills. I attempted to roller skate at almost every metro skate park and found that Harrison Street DIY was the most friendly and inclusive. Special events like “girl’s skate day” show that Harrison Street DIY is more than just a regular skate park, it’s an accepting space that actually encourages and cultivates gender diverse sporting. The design of the park also allowed me as a beginner to enjoy the pavement as much as a pro. There isn’t any other public space in KC that was passionately crafted and makes me feel welcome as a female roller skater.
The sweetest place to be. Every wall is different; every piece of coping has meaning. It helps many cope. Something so easy as a frontside slash can do much satisfaction. The people you meet have hearts like non other. Living in the moment with you. Never jocked. Never frowned upon, unless sketchy or not humble. This is a dream come true. A dream crafted by individuals that care for something, which is rare nowadays. Tear it down and a tear does the same to this dream brought to reality. Blood sweat and tears have gone here. Too many tears would be shed from many heads. Keep this place full of cheer and the loving ones that enjoy each other’s rolling.
-Marcus Hall, Local Skater
-Anna Marten (local skater)
THE DIY HAS
“Before the skaters showed up, this area had been neglected for over 20 years and was a constant source of trouble. Rampant drug use, illegal dumping and prostitution were daily occurrences.... Having more people in the area, especially those intent on making improvements, had an enormous impact on those negative activities which are now fairly rare. And the positive impact created by the skaters had a contagious effect, encouraging neighbors and visitors to care about and respect the area, unlike before.”
“In 2009, the Tony Hawk Foundation surveyed 102 law enforcement officers who frequently patrol skateparks in 37 states. The survey showed that 47% (48) of officers noticed a decrease in overall youth crime since the skatepark opened.”
“THF Police Study.” Public Skatepark Development Guide,
March 6, 2014. https://publicskateparkguide.org/advocacy
Dan Wayne (Columbus Neighborhood Park resident and possible future developer)
THE DIY IS WORTH $480,000
“The park has been mostly funded by grassroots fundraising, most of which has come in the form of small periodic donations. There have also been many fundraising events including art shows, music shows, bbq’s, raffles, contests, and a kickstarter campaign.
The park has also been awarded monetary grants from the Charlotte Street Foundation and the Tony Hawk Foundation. The money raised and spent on the park has been close to $70,000. For the same size park to be constructed by a design build firm would cost $480,000.”
Ben Hlavacek, (co-founder and
professional skate park builder)