More than 14,000 youth and parents participate in or support skateboarding in St. Louis, yet while most medium to large size cities have several free skateparks, St. Louis has none.
To remedy this the skaters of St. Louis picked up shovels and trowels and began building their own skate park in an abandoned rundown area under the South Kingshighway Viaduct in south St. Louis. The group formed a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization named KHVT which stands for Kingshighway Vigilante Transitions to help legitimize their efforts.
Using only volunteer labor and donated funds, KHVT built the 20,000 square foot Kingshighway Bridge skate park. It is the first and only free park in the city.
Unfortunately, the 76-year-old South Kingshighway bridge is deteriorating structurally. The City plans on destroying it and rebuilding a new bridge within the next year, leaving no legal, free place for the skaters of the city to skate.
To ensure that the skateboarders of St. Louis will still have a place to skate, KHVT must act quickly. We are working closely with St. Louis City's Land Re-utilization Authority (LRA) to find small, unused city owned properties to be transformed into free, public "skate gardens."
A skate garden is a small skateable area surrounded by community-run garden. Landscaping and other garden features will be designed by local gardening clubs, and skateboarding features will be designed and built by KHVT. These features will be enhanced by decorative, artistic mosaics and dyed concrete to make the park a visually appealing asset for the surrounding neighborhood. The garden will also help promote a sense of ownership and create something for the whole community to enjoy. Ideally, KHVT wants to place small skate gardens like this all over the city to form a network of free public skate parks.
KHVT has been working with the city since 2010 to make the Skate Garden project a reality - and we're getting close. The LRA has granted KHVT a $1 annual lease on a 14,000-sqare-foot property at 4415 Morganford. So now all we need is the funding for the actual construction. More than $17,000 of the $50,000 needed to complete this project has already been raised through fundraisers, a challenge grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation and government monies pledged by Ald. Carol Howard of the 14th Ward.
TO RAISE THE REMAINING AMOUNT, WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! WE STILL HAVE A LOT OF MONEY TO RAISE TO MAKE THIS A REALITY FOR THE SKATERS OF ST. LOUIS!!! PLEASE HELP GIVE THE KIDS AND SKATERS OF ST. LOUIS A SAFE PLACE TO SKATE!!!
Risks and challenges
A lot of the challenges we faced on this project have already been overcome.
KHVT already has a lease on the property.
KHVT has already secured a grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation.
The majority of the labor and design is being done by volunteers to minimize cost.
KHVT has already talked with the surrounding neighborhood associations and committees to ensure the site is a good match for the neighborhood.
For now our biggest challenge is getting to the $50,000 mark so we can begin construction!! KHVT never stops fundraising. Our booth can be seen at many local events here in St. Louis, plus KHVT holds many skateboarding-based fundraisers each and every month. Check out www.KHVT.org for more info on upcoming events!!!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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