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With a little help from one of the worldâ€™s most famous skateboarders, the Lone Pine Skate Park Project is moving forward.
According to project organizer Lynne Bunn, the Tony Hawk Foundation recently announced that it will be donating $10,000 to the skate park fund.
Tony Hawk Foundation grants are awarded for the construction of free, public skate park projects in communities that serve at-risk youth. The Foundation was created in 2002, and since that time has awarded $4,072,350 to 505 communities in all 50 states. Applicants must demonstrate exemplary efforts in advocacy, the ability to raise funds, involvement of the youth who will actually use the park and a commitment to hiring professional skate park designers and builders before they are eligible for the grant.
That sums up Lone Pineâ€™s efforts.
Bunn has been working with a youth committee to gather ideas and input for the park, and Healthy Communities of Southern Inyo has been instrumental in the fundraising effort.
Bunn said the project is expected to cost a total of $300,000, but the Tony Hawk Foundation donation is a good start.
The skate park will be located on a piece of property behind Lone Pine McDonaldâ€™s that was donated to the community for residentsâ€™ enjoyment.
Bunn said two deeds, one from the C.D. Begole family, donated in 1871, and one donated by J.C. Morris and Dale Morris in 1922, were combined to provide enough room for any kind of community-based project.
Bunn added that the property is a â€śperfectâ€ť location for a skate park, because it is located in town, directly across the street from the high school, so youngsters will not have to drive or get a ride to it.
As proposed, the skate park will be about 10,000 square feet: 80 by 125 feet.
The skate park will feature â€śskate at your own riskâ€ť signs, notifying users that the County of Inyo and community of Lone Pine are not liable for any injuries. Bunn cited state law that states that skateboarding is â€śinherently dangerousâ€ť and that â€śmunicipalities and its employees can not be held liable,â€ť which means Bunn and her team will not be forced to find funding each year to pay for expensive insurance for the park.
An exact time line for the completion of the skate park has yet to be established, but Bunn said ground should be broken soon.
â€śIâ€™m ready to go now,â€ť Bunn said. â€śBut the only hang-up is that the contractor doing the grading had foot surgeryâ€ť and is laid up for the time being.
Once the property is graded, Bunn said construction on the skate park can begin.
This year, The Tony Hawk Foundation pledged funding to 13 skate parks nationwide, including Lone Pine. The Foundation is giving out more than $100,000.
â€śThe last 10 years have exceeded my expectations,â€ť says Founder and President Tony Hawk. â€śI am more proud than ever of the work we are doing all over the country.â€ť
The Tony Hawk Foundation board consists of Hawk and a number of his family members, as well as other famed skaters: Kevin Rose, Sarah Hall, Gary Arnold, Gerard Cappello, Chantal Cloobeck, Sandy Dusablon, Ben Harper, Pat Hawk, Steve Hawk, Lenore Hawk Dale, Bob Kahan, Chris Sacca, Jamie Thomas, and Mike Vallely.
Bunn said she knows several of the board members often travel through Inyo County on their way to snowboard in Mammoth and board members have been known to attend grand openings of skate parks that receive grants from the Foundation.
However, for the Lone Pine Skate Park, Bunn said it is too early to know if the celebrity philanthropists will be able to make it for the Grand Opening.