Skate park dream becomes a reality

It is said that “good things come to those who wait.” If that is true, the Saranac Lake SkatePark will be great.

Though it has taken a long time, it has not been an idle process. The hard work of a committed group of volunteers and donations from a generous community have brought the dream of local youth for a safe skateboard park to a reality. We are in high gear to raise the final $30,000 needed for the project.

A year ago, the effort was jump started by receiving a major grant award from the Tony Hawk Foundation. According to their web site,, “The dedication of the skaters and their supporters, and the small town’s ambitious plans to create a substantial 5,000-square-foot concrete skatepark in the village center, convinced the THF board of directors to cast their votes to award Saranac Lake the highest grant award of $25,000. This semester’s top project exemplifies all of the practices and characteristics we love to see in skateparks.”

What they love to see is skateboarder effort and community support. Ninety-two percent of the $330,000 funds needed to build this state of the art facility come from the immediate community in the form of cash donations, in-kind donations of goods and services and grants from local foundations. We would like to identify and thank a few of the most important contributors.

First and foremost, this has always been about the kids. Local youths have asked for a skatepark for more than 20 years, and since 2004, more than 135 skateboarders have worked with the SkatePark Committee to raise funds for their skatepark – washing cars, grilling hot dogs, selling Christmas wreaths, music and movie events. These kids have raised more than $50,000 in these small fundraisers over time.

Thanks to the hundreds of local residents who never fail to support them by adding to a donation jar or purchasing a fresh balsam wreath for the holidays.

Without any increase in budget, the village of Saranac Lake is dedicated to supporting our youth by adding this recreational facility and contributing valued labor and materials for the initial site preparation. The village has begun their work on the midtown lot and when complete they will own and operate the Skatepark for our kids. The SkatePark Committee has worked closely with the current board of trustees, Mayor Clyde Rabideau, village Manager John Sweeney and Department of Public Works Director Jeff Dora to create an attractive venue that will be easily accessible to youth, enhance downtown and bring visitors to the area.

Thank you to the village for its support.

From the beginning, Publisher Cathy Moore and the Adirondack Daily Enterprise have been partners in getting out the word and continuing the discussion of the best way to produce this unique recreation facility for our community. Thanks go to them, also.

As site preparation is underway we would like to recognize the contributions of Stacey Allott and Geomatics Land Surveying for their donation of professional services for the construction. Kudos to engineer Dominic Fontana, who has expertly designed drainage for the area, which will improve the adjacent lots. He also serves as clerk of the works, to help ensure that the joint effort is coordinated and progresses seamlessly to a quality product.

Major local grantors include $10,000 from the Keet Foundation and $10,000 from the Wigmore Foundation. Stewart’s Shops also contributed a matching grant of $5,000. All major donors are listed on our website at Donations may be made there, also. Please follow our progress on Facebook or email

This 5,200 square-foot, all-concrete skatepark will provide an affordable opportunity for healthy exercise for local and visiting youth for decades to come. How great to live in a community where individuals and businesses come together to make good things happen!