World class skateboard park approved for Des Moines MAP

DES MOINES, Iowa - An idea that started with some kids who wanted a place to skateboard is turning into reality.  The City of Des Moines Monday approved a piece of land near the Wells Fargo Arena for a new skate park.

"It has been a movement, a grassroots movement now for 14-years."  Organizer Brad Anderson tells WHO Radio News.  

"Really, the nice thing is we've seen enormous growth in the grassroots support."  He said.  "We'll have a big announcement on April 4 at the site, and we're excited to see everybody there, and we're going to make this happen."

Anderson says they have $2.4 million dollars raised as of this morning, with a goal of $3.5 million.  Once the fundraising is complete, it'll take about three months to build the ramps and jumps.

The new skate park will be one of the biggest in the nation and is expected to draw up to 40-thousand people a year into Des Moines for special events.

And, the group that clearly knows how to turn dreams into reality has an Olympic dream, too.

"Because skateboarding is going to be in the 2020 Olympics, there will be Olympic trials."  Says organizer Jan Hill.  "We think it would be just wonderful if Des Moines will be one of those sites, as well."

Hill has been active in the growth of the skatepark idea from the start.

"I'm the mother of a skateboarder, and a member of AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy non-profit community organization)."  Hill tells WHO Radio News.  "We've been working on this for 14-years.  My son's a skateboarder, we traveled all over the country for skate parks, and we said, 'Why can't Des Moines do this.'"

Hill says they hope to build the park yet this summer, but if it takes longer to hit the fundraising goal, the skate park will open next summer, for sure.  

Link to skate park website:  https://www.desmoinesregionalskatepark.com/

Des Moines skate park plan. Graphic by permission from DesMoinesRegionalSkatepark.com
Location of planned Des Moines skate park shown in green. Google maps

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