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The Orion

Ribbon cutting opens doors to improved skate park in Chico

Renovations to the park would not have been possible without the efforts of Scott Bailey. “My children were my inspiration.” Photo credit: Tisha Cheney

Community members joined together to celebrate the grand opening of the renovated skate park Monday morning.

After two years of relentless efforts by local community members, the new park has been expanded, fenced up, cleaned and painted making a more inviting environment for skaters of all ages.

“The place was in bad condition. Drinking and drugs. It created an atmosphere where kids could not join in,” said Michael Worley a board member of Chico Area Recreation and Park District (CARD). “Chico Skatepark Solutions came to us with $80,000 from fundraising eager for a change.”

Chico skate park
The grand opening of the renovated skate park was on Monday morning. Photo credit: Tisha Cheney

Chico resident Scott Bailey has been a leading force in forming the grassroots organization to clean up the park after he became aware of the conditions of the original.

“My children are my inspiration,” said Bailey. “My boys got me skating at 39. The park here was not a great place. We would travel to nearby towns to skate their parks and these little town’s parks were way better than ours. Corning was 20 times better! That is not the case anymore.”

Over the last two years, the organization has held multiple fundraisers to finance the renovation, including renting out the Big Room at Sierra Nevada Brewery twice. On both occasions, they were able to raise approximately $20,000.

They even reached out to the Tony Hawk Foundation for support. Although the foundation was unable to help financially, due to the fact they fund building parks not renovating them, they did actively help by guiding organization members through legal issues and how to work with local government.

Tony Hawk at the Chico skate park
Tony Hawk breaks in the new bowl at the Chico skate park. Photo courtesy of Scott Bailey.

Tony Hawk himself made a surprise appearance to check out the park after repairs and additions were complete.

As people flooded into the park satisfied looks could be seen on the staff’s faces.

“There were a lot of problems,” said Worley. At this point I think everyone will get what they want.”

“I’m really excited with the turnout,” said Bailey. “We have one of the best bowls in Northern California now. It’s gonna be a fun place to be.”

As for the future, the Chico Skatepark Solutions organization aim to be an ongoing presence at the park by using remaining funds for upkeep and continuing to monitor the area. CARD has announced the possibility of forming camps and skating lesson opportunities, which would become available beginning July 1.

Tisha Cheney can be reached at [email protected] or @orionnews_TC on Twitter.

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