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Skatepark dreams may become a reality in Carpinteria

CARPINTERIA, Calif. - Supporters of a long-awaited skatepark in Carpinteria are making a push for community donations to finish off a project that has been on the wish list for many years.

The proposed location is next to Carpinteria City Hall and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's substation.

June 21 is International Go Skate Day and it will serve as a launching point for the project's next fundraising effort which was first discussed in 2009 with the start of the Carpinteria Skate Foundation.

Monday, the Carpinteria Skatepark commenced an ambitious fundraising plan aimed at reaching the entire community through engaging events and creative calls to action.

So far, an aggressive fundraising drive has already secured more than half of the estimated $1.2-million for the project.

Large donors will have the opportunity to “purchase” elements of the park like the event stage and ramps. Smaller donors can purchase bricks or become part of the community effort to construct the park in myriad other ways. 

" You guys deserve his and I am sorry it took us so long,"  said Julia Mayer with the Carpinteria Skate Foundation as a group of skaters, their parents, and community leaders gathered in the heart of town.

They they were off to ride to the site awaiting its renovation later this year.

They were escorted by the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department patrol deputies.

Mayer said, "kids needed a place to run around and skate and have that place for self expression. It is all clear to all of us how much skateboarding provides for kids."

It's taken years to work out the plan and the location.

"We've taken it to about 80-percent of the funds that are reaised and that is pretty much grass roots funding. This is money that the community has been showing up with $10., $20., $100., $1000. The City of Carpinteria came in and took it over that percentage."

Organizers have drawings of the proposed skatepark with specially designed jumps for all levels.
The owner of the Lighthouse Skate Shop in Santa Barbara, Naren Porter-Kasbati said, " you could be having the worst day ever but then you go skating and you leave it all behind and drop it and just go have fun. It is a good outlet."

A skater, Kai Zukor said skating is growing again in popularity. "It is definitely more accepted by the community as a whole." These days he says it is "more engaging."

Porter-Kasati says, " all my best friends that I have to this day I met through skateboarding."

For the supporters it will be a summer of fundraising and optimism.

"We don't need that much more money. The minute that last dollar is raise we will have a concrete trucks here pouring," said Meyer.

“We formed this committee in 2009 to build the park, and have come so far,” said Peter Bonning, founding board member of Carpinteria Skate Foundation. “Really, our board has been looking for this opportunity for Carpinteria since we were kids in the 90s. Now we have plans and permits in hand – closer than we’ve ever been – so we want to make 2021 the year that this gets done for our kids and the whole community.”

The location for the park was once used as a hockey facility and in recent years, city storage.

For more information go to: Carpinteria Skate Foundation.

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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