By Tom Kresan & Thad Widmer, Circle 13 Working Group
The Circle 13 skatepark crew has been working hard to get all of our ducks in a row, so we can start moving forward on raising money for our much needed skate park. Tom and Thad switched hats again in July and took 10 of our youth on a three-day adventure supporting BEAR’s Sk8 program. We had the honor and privilege of taking local kids around the western part of Montana to explore the various skate parks. Five parks in three days and lots of skating (in 90 degree temps)! We skated at Missoula, St. Ignatius, Polson, Kalispell and Whitefish, and we swam in Flathead Lake! This camp has been happening every year at BEAR and it is very well received and appreciated by the families we serve as well as the communities and parks we visit. While we were on the trip we ran into people who traveled many miles just to skate at some of these amazing parks.
We also had the good fortune of meeting the husband and wife team from Dreamland Skateparks while we were skating at the Whitefish park. Dreamland is the leading skate park design company, having built many of the skateparks in Montana and elsewhere. We were able to visit with them about our efforts and progress to date and they were encouraged and excited to support our vision. They want to place a bid for the job when the time comes and felt confident that they would not only get the job, but deliver a high end quality product to Hamilton and the Bitterroot Valley. They had an amazing vision of how they could support this community and help make this a reality.
Recently we had another fun pint night at the Bitterroot Brewery with the Keegan Smith band, followed up by our 2nd Annual Daly Days Skate Jam. We continue to put a public face on the effort and visit with folks about the park, our vision and the reasons behind it. Both events had many spectators and participants.
In October we are planning on doing a 5K fun ride for longer boards, a rapidly expanding segment of our skate demographic and a growing activity amongst Hamilton youth and adults alike.
When conducting these events, the most frequent question we get asked is, where and when will the park be completed? When responding to that question, our most common answer is, we are working with the City as well as our fiscal sponsor to draft all of the documents necessary to outline and articulate the details, responsibilities and expectations for a project of this size and scope and we are working on securing the necessary signatures to make this a reality. The overwhelming response is, we need a skatepark, every town but ours has one!
We are all busy people and have many things going on in your daily lives but we should all consider making this vision a priority, as it is a much anticipated and needed element of our community and this valley. We have several funders willing to step up as soon as all the documentation is in order and once initial fund raising begins, subsequent donors will emerge as well. It won’t fall into our laps, but the money is out there. We would encourage all of our community members to let our elected officials know of your support for this project, and also consider what you might offer to it on a personal level as well.
We continue to gather momentum as time passes and are making strides in our efforts. We are confident that this will get done as long as we continue to have the community’s support. We are grateful for all the City of Hamilton has done for us and thankful we all share the same vision. Visit us to get informed or to step up, at Hamilton Skate Park, on Facebook.