Indie Awards: Dream it. Build it. Skate it.
Finalist: Community Care
Friends of the A2 Skatepark
- Year nonprofit founded: 2010
- Full-time employees: 0
- Website: a2skatepark.org
When Diana Kern first laid eyes on the brand new skatepark at Veterans Park, she cried.
She explained why: “Just look at this place! For an all-volunteer, nonprofit board to get this together … to realize the kind of collaboration that came together to provide this …”
The skatepark opened June 21 after nearly a decade of promotion and fundraising. Kern, a member of the A2 Skatepark board, got involved in the effort early on. “My nephew was 12 at the time,” she said. “I was tired of hauling him and his buddies all over the state to skate.”
Now, skaters from all over the state will be coming to Ann Arbor to kickflip and carve. Designed by California-based Wally Hollyday Skateparks, the local 30,000-square-foot park is the biggest in the state, and chock full of daring possibilities.
A2 Skatepark board member Dug Song, part of the core group that’s been working for the skatepark since the beginning, said, “It’s better than we ever imagined.” He said he travels quite a bit and always tries to visit other skateparks, and, “This is one of the best ones I’ve ever seen. The density of skateable features is amazing.”
To Kern, the fundraising feat is no less amazing. The board raised $900,000 “through grant writing, events, donor cultivation and a demonstration of professionalism that resulted in a partnership with the city of Ann Arbor, a matching grant from the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Department and trust by donors.” The board has also raised $70,000 toward its $100,000 goal for a maintenance endowment, so no taxpayer money will be used for future repairs and upkeep.
The park, which sits on land donated by the city, will be self-monitored; those who skate there will do so at their own risk. But Kern is quick to point out that “there are fewer injuries in skateboarding than there are in baseball.”