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Skatepark advocates rally support at public input session

A+skater+looks+at+another+skateboarder+riding+in+the+Boone+Greenway+Skatepark%2C+March+2023.
Asher Davidson
A skater looks at another skateboarder riding in the Boone Greenway Skatepark, March 2023.

A public input session for phase two of the Boone Greenway skatepark project was hosted April 18 at the Watauga County Public Library. During the session, public attendees were able to speak and ask questions about the expansion of the existing Boone Greenway Skatepark.

Boone Greenway Skatepark originally opened in November 2021 and currently contains a concrete skate pad with half-pipe ramps, according to the website

Expansions being proposed will include a bowl to skateboard in, a shaded area and more recreation space. The session was hosted by JP Pardy of Recess and Laney Wise, the grants coordinator for the Town of Boone. 

Prior to the current skatepark, Pardy said there was a spot in Boone local skaters went to called Boone Do-It-Yourself Skatepark. 

“There was this really great spot in town that we skated at,” he said. “We actually had permission to use it and build stuff on there.”

The skatepark was shut down in 2017, and Pardy wanted a place where locals and tourists could still skateboard in Boone. 

“We had to have something,” he said. “We couldn’t get back to having nothing.”

Pardy said he started going to public transportation meetings through the town council and received support from Jeannine Collins, who serves as a member of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce. While discussing with Collins and the committees, the group proposed locations that would be available for the skatepark. 

“We’ve had a ton of support from Hatchet Coffee and Sunrise Grill,” Pardy said. “We hosted a couple of mini-golf events there on the mini golf course, which was really fun.” 

The expansions will be backed by local funding and a grant from the Town of Boone that will match the funds brought in by Pardy and local businesses. 

“The grant we’re going for right here is part of the North Carolina Parks and Rec Department,” Wise said. “It’s basically a 50-50 match.” 

Wise said the grant will match all of the previously raised funds, and is the funding the project needs before expansion begins. Wise said she has been working with Pardy on getting the grant since January and is an avid supporter of the park. 

“My brother used to skate at the little high school,” she said. “So I think it’s a great thing. It’s very much needed in Boone, and it’s a very safe recreational facility.”

Pardy and Wise said Boone encourages many different types of transportation, and the skatepark encourages a form of sustainable transportation. 

“If this project gets completed, it’s people of all ages going outside and experiencing the skatepark,” Wise said. “It’s fostering some passions for outdoor recreation, and we can encourage people to get outdoors in a fun and safe environment.”

Pardy said he hopes the project and expansions will be completed by the end of 2025. 

Boone local Fox Kinsman said he’s been a supporter of the project since it was first proposed. Kinsman has been skating for over 10 years.

“The plan is to have better flow,” he said. “It’ll have a bigger draw with tourism and a lot more room.”

He said he hopes to have the opportunity to be around experienced skaters while seeing beginners learn.  

Charlie Brooks has been supporting the project, and said he’s noticed skateboarding goes through phases. He said he hopes the expansions will bring in younger people who want to learn. 

“I’ve been skating for 33 years,” Brooks said. “I personally like to ride concrete bowls and pools, so I’m excited about that phase two element that I want.”

Pardy said he hopes to get everyone on board and garner as much support for the project as he can. He aims to provide a safe place for skaters of all ages to enjoy the sport while fostering the skating community in Boone.

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About the Contributors
Mia Seligman
Mia Seligman, Enterprise Editor
Mia Seligman is a sophomore journalism major with a minor in gender, women's, and sexuality studies from Asheville, NC. This is her second year at The Appalachian. (She/her)
Asher Davidson
Asher Davidson, Reporter

Asher Davidson (he/him) is a senior journalism major with a minor in media studies from Black Mountain, NC.

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