The Boone Greenway Skatepark has become a highly anticipated upcoming feature for the local community since the Town of Boone approved the project in February 2018. J.P. Pardy, owner of Recess Skate and Snow, came up with the idea for the new skatepark when the DIY park at the old Watauga High School closed down in 2017.
Boone’s skateboarding community has long yearned for a local destination they can skate freely and safely without fear of violating property laws or hurting themselves on improper terrain. For years, the DIY skatepark that was built by locals in the ruins of the old Watauga High School served as that community skateboarding hub. However, after Appalachian State University bought the land in 2017, the DIY skatepark was no longer accessible to the public.
J.P. Pardy decided there should be a new skateboarding hub for the town of Boone, and this time, the location should be safe, official, and easily accessible from anywhere around town. Boone Greenway Skatepark is the product of Pardy’s ideas; the Town of Boone has partnered with Recess and Pardy to help build the skatepark in a tract of land near the already existing greenway in Boone, hence the skatepark’s name. “The Town of Boone has been awesome; they have been all about it,” said Pardy, “The town donated the land, they’ve done rough grading, they’ve done storm water; the thing that’s crazy is we are shovel-ready right now. The project is good to go once we have the proper funding.”
Fundraising for Boone Greenway Skatepark has been underway for over a year, with local businesses partnering with Recess and Pardy to bring in more funds for the skatepark. Just like last year, Sunrise Grill hosted a mini golf fundraiser for the cause, which included food trucks, beverages, and a silent auction on September 26 with all the proceeds going toward Boone Greenway Skatepark.
The month of October is important for fundraising because dozens of local businesses are participating in an “October Push” month-long fundraising event to help gather money for the park. Whether it is a donation jar or asking customers to round up to the nearest dollar with their purchase, businesses are helping out the skatepark in any way they can. For example, restaurants such as The Gamekeeper are donating monthly proceeds from special menu items and Booneshine is donating monthly proceeds from a particular beer to park fundraising.
In addition to the October Push fundraisers, Recess Skate and Snow will be hosting a 10-Year Video Premiere Party at the Beacon on October 25 at 7:00 p.m. The event is free and food trucks will be nearby to purchase refreshments; Beech Mountain Brewery is donating beer to the event as well. The latest big snowboarder movie “Everybody” will be shown during the event as well as a short film by the Recess team! All ages are welcome until 10:00 p.m. but only 21 years and older allowed after 10:00 p.m. A big raffle will also be held during the event with all proceeds going toward the Boone Greenway Skatepark.
Pardy emphasized the importance of the skatepark to the town of Boone and its skateboarding community; people will flock to the Boone Greenway Skatepark from across the region to experience a place to skate without being bothered by unsafe or unfriendly conditions. Pardy stated that many people don’t understand the impact that the Boone Greenway Skatepark will have on the community and just how popular it will be; around 40 people used to regularly show up to the DIY park on a daily basis, and Pardy estimates that much more people will utilize the Boone Greenway Skatepark once it is built. “A lot of people who don’t understand too much about skateboarding think we’re trying to do this niche thing with the skatepark,” said Pardy, “I think the goal is taking all these efforts and showing everyone how much people want this park; it’s definitely a no-brainer. It’s what every town in the country is doing or has done a long time ago, so really we are behind the trend, as far as skateparks go, by about ten years. It’s definitely something is needed in the community as far as another source of affordable recreation.”
The land has been donated and made fit for construction, designs have been drawn up, and the community supports the cause; the only thing needed to start construction on the Boone Greenway Skatepark are the funds necessary to pay for the park itself. The Town of Boone has donated $25,000 to the Boone Greenway Skatepark, a GoFundMe account for the skatepark has raised over $7,000 to date, and $27,000 of previously-raised funds have been collected in the Boone Greenway Skatepark bank account; but as Pardy explained, there is still much that needs to be accomplished to get the park up and running. “It’s coming along but we still have a good way to go,” said Pardy, “Winter’s right around the corner, which is fine, because you can’t build concrete skateparks in the winter anyway. We will continue fundraising and reach out to see if there is any additional funding from the county, TDA, or back on town budget possibly. We should be ready to start construction in late spring, weather permitting.”
Visit businesses participating in the October Push fundraising events (listed below) during the month of October to help Boone Greenway Skatepark begin its road to completion this spring.
To donate directly to the Boone Greenway Skatepark, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/boone-greenway-skatepark
For more information on Boone Greenway Skatepark as the story is updated, visit the skatepark’s instagram account at @boonegreenwayskatepark