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) 

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THE DIY IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF
KANSAS CITY

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THE DIY HAS 
ECONOMICALLY STRENGTHENED 
KANSAS CITY

"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)

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THE DIY HAS BUILT COMMUNITY

"For me it's like finding a home, a good home. So many people there share the same values as I do and choose to express themselves creatively in the same way I do."

Mercy Pryhozen (local skater)

“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”)

Even though skating is dynamic and you can do it basically anywhere, you still need a spot where everyone can come together as a group in a community and do the same thing together. You can play basketball in your driveway or you can dance in your living room, but you need that communal spot for people to come together. 

 

Mercy Pryhozen (local skater)

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THE DIY HAS
REDUCED CRIME

“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

/thf-police-study/

“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 n  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.” 

Dan Wayne (Columbus Neighborhood Park resident and possible future developer) 

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THE DIY IS WELCOMING AND INCLUSIVE

“I have always felt comfortable at Harrison. As a woman, it can be intimidating to go to parks. But because Harrison Street is such a community based park, it’s welcoming. There's no other park around here that you can actually say, “I've helped build this, so I have just as much right to the space as you do.”

Elyse Stubbz (local skater, business owner, and leader of Women's skate group, “Board Meeting”)

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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)