ABC News 4: Proposal sets new rules for skateboarders by Stefanie Bainum

ABC News 4: Proposal sets new rules for skateboarders by Stefanie Bainum CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Downtown Charleston skateboarders could soon be taking a u-turn. That is if a new proposal by City of Charleston...

Stop the skateboard ban in downtown Charleston.

Stop the skateboard ban in downtown Charleston. Please help us stop the proposed ban on skateboarding in downtown Charleston. Sign the petition in the above link. Below are links to several...

Downtown Charleston skate park slowly grinding ahead by Mark Davenport, WCSC

Downtown Charleston skate park slowly grinding ahead by Mark Davenport, WCSC

by Mark Davenport, WCSC A skate park in downtown Charleston is slowly grinding ahead with plans to build. Skaters are one meeting...

What a show!  Skate & Create 2012 Wrapup

What a show! Skate & Create 2012 Wrapup

Take a minute to check out some of the photos from last night’s event here: Photo Album We hope you made it! We’re pretty sure you did, because Hope & Union was JAM PACKED with skaters, artists, moms, dads,...

Hunter’s Skate Spot: Phase Two for Columbia

Hunter’s Skate Spot: Phase Two for Columbia

POUR IT NOW, Columbia, has launched phase two of it’s skatepark system advocacy campaign. Hunter’s Skate Spot is an idea conceived by the friends and family of Hunter Kuna Hudson in the wake of his untimely death. The pocket park is to be a way to honor Hunter’s memory while providing a positive outlet for kids like Hunter. Watch the video for the full story:

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Owens Field Skatepark Turns One in March!

Owens Field Skatepark Turns One in March!

We are so glad to have Owens Field Skatepark. Remember just one year ago when it first opened? Maybe this video will help refresh your memory:

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Kid Touches Tony Hawk’s Skateboard: Lives to tell the tale

Kid Touches Tony Hawk’s Skateboard: Lives to tell the tale

This is funny! How has this video gone unnoticed? It was a good while back that the Hawk came to Owens Field in lil ole South Cackalack, but somehow, this kids super-excited post game wrapup video went nearly unwatched. Check it our now.

If you have videos like this, send the links to me!

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Astonishing – the Number of YouTube Videos about Owens Field Skatepark

Astonishing – the Number of YouTube Videos about Owens Field Skatepark

Okay, it’s been eleven months since Owens Field Skatepark opened up and I was doing a quick youtube search for videos. Turns out there’s about a million jillion user generated videos out there about the skatepark. I compiled about forty of them before my mouse clicking finger got tired. Check out some of them below.

Thanks a ton to everyone who is using the park and making videos about it. Keep it up and send me your new cuts as you post them. I’ll put them up here on pour it

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Charleston County Skatepark Plans get a Bit of Wheel Bite

Charleston County Skatepark Plans get a Bit of Wheel Bite

We’ve recently been in touch with Tom O’Rourke, Executive Director at Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, and the most recent word on the Charleston Skateboard park is that the planned location for the two million dollar project has become difficult to secure. As we understand it, the property located under the Arthur Ravenel Bridge on Meeting Street is owned by SCDOT, which means their rules on building of any sort are very strict. It sounds like Tom has been negotiating with SCDOT back and forth since Charleston County Parks and Recreation stepped into this project. The bad news is, regardless of Tom’s valiant efforts, little progress has been made with the SCDOT. Word on the street is that Mayor Riley and the City of Charleston will be stepping up to let the SCDOT know the City of Charleston really wants to see this project happen. Help us get this done; let city council and the mayor know you want the park under the bridge on meeting street ASAP. Email them all here right now!

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Skate & Create Opening Night Columbia Museum of Art

Skate & Create Opening Night Columbia Museum of Art

February 22, 2011 Columbia Museum of Art 6pm – 8pm.

Here we go again! You all saw the video from last year’s Skate & Create reception. This year promises to be another banger. Don’t get left out. Bring your friends and family, come grab some refreshments, grab a beer from the bar, check the artwork, and chill with friends. We will be shooting another video so make sure you look fresh to deff.

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Blythewood Town Park Groundbreaking

The Blythewood town park will break ground July 30th at 10 am. It is to include a concrete skateboard park of 20,000 square feet, an amphitheatre, walking trails, ballfields, and a replica of the old railroad depot and other features.

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Charleston Magazine Article on Planned Skateboard Park

Community: Ramping Up
Pour It Now gets big air on a peninsula skate park with funding from Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission
Written By
Daniel Brock

Shannon Smith thinks Charleston is a pretty friendly city—unless you’re riding a skateboard. Then this place renowned for its politeness becomes considerably less hospitable. “Even growing up, when we were skating the George Street pool, there was bias against skaters,” says the 39-year-old Charleston native, now president of the local chapter of Pour It Now, a four-year-old skateboarding advocacy group that helps build skate parks around the state. Since joining the nonprofit, she’s seen dozens of facilities pop up across the Southeast, including in Columbia and Bluffton. Despite years of effort, however, Charleston still doesn’t have a major park to call its own. But in late March, the wheels of change were finally set in motion.

On March 29, the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) voted unanimously to carve out $2 million for a new downtown skate park. To be located on undeveloped South Carolina Department of Transportation property under the Ravenel Bridge on Meeting Street, the park is currently slated as a state-of-the-art, 40,000-square-foot center with room for enough bowls, half-pipes, quarter-pipes, rails, vert ramps, and stair sets to accommodate the entire Lowcountry skating populous. “It’s a demographic we haven’t done much for,” says CCPRC executive director Tom O’Rourke, who’s been pushing for the project for the last eight months, even taking commissioners on a field trip to a Salt Lake City skate park during a recent national conference.

For Pour It Now, the budget approval is a huge jump in a campaign that hasn’t always been promising. The group first submitted plans for a park to the city more than three years ago, projecting a $1.5 million price tag for a 35,000-square-foot park and gearing up to raise the funds privately. When the city couldn’t help finance the project, Department of Recreation director Laurie Yarbrough and deputy director of parks operations Matt Compton contacted O’Rourke to see if the CCPRC wanted to get involved.

Both O’Rourke and Smith joke about the unlikely partnership. “It’s like skateboarders and government trying to get married,” he explains of the alley-oops that the process has taken. “I’m waiting for Tom to put a ring on my finger,” joked Smith before the meeting.

And O’Rourke has delivered the bling. He envisions the venue being more than a skate park, featuring amenities such as a climbing wall, a pro shop, concessions, and possibly even a connection to the city’s fishing pier on the other side of the bridge. He also talks of the park hosting regional and national skate events, drawing big names from across the globe. “This won’t be like anything anyone has seen in this area,” says O’Rourke. And he now has healthy funding to pull it off.

The park won’t be open anytime soon, though. CCPRC allocated the money in a July 2010 to July 2011 budget; once the funding becomes available, it may take more than a year to finalize design plans and begin construction. In the meantime, the commission will be securing permits and gathering public input on design and usage, including assistance from Pour It Now.

“We’re finally exhaling and feel like we’re passing our baby on to good hands,” Smith says. “They’ll make sure it’s top of the line. It will probably be the best in the country at the time it’s built.” And O’Rourke is happy that an underserved constituency has finally received some long-coming attention. “There are a lot of winners in this,” he says.

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Front Page Post and Courier: $2 Million

County panel agrees to spend $2 million on skate park
Dude, for real?
By David Slade
The Post and Courier
Saturday, April 3, 2010

This could be truly epic.

The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission has agreed to spend $2 million to build a skate park — one of the largest on the East Coast– in downtown Charleston.

Two. Million. Dollars.

“It will be quite a large park,” said Shannon Smith, a local mom, teacher and avid skateboarder affiliated with the skate park advocacy group Pour It Now. “We’re shooting for 40,000 square feet.”

At that size, the skateboard park would dwarf the new Owens Field Skate Park in Columbia and would be the same size as the Louisville Extreme Park in Kentucky.

Plans call for creating the park on land along Morrison Drive just north of Huger Street, in the state-owned right of way below the Ravenel Bridge. The city of Charleston and Pour It Now are working with the county PRC on the plan.

The park plan was hailed by local skateboard enthusiasts, including 20-year-old Stephen Pond, who served a 90-day probationary sentence for skateboarding on a city street last year.

“We’ve been ready for a park for a long time,” said Pond, a College of Charleston freshman from Winston-Salem, N.C.

Pond said he and other skaters would use the park, but, he said, he’s not ready to give up skateboarding on city streets, which is illegal. He said he’s been skateboarding since he was about 11 and that his board gets him to classes and takes him on recreational outings.

After Charleston police ticketed him for skateboarding on St. Philip Street, Pond said he went to Charleston Municipal Court and was sentenced to probation.

“I stopped for 90 days, but I’m back,” he declared. “I use my board every day.”

The PRC’s decision Monday to fund the park follows about three years of on-and-off discussions between Charleston city officials and Pour It Now.

“We realized it would be an uphill battle to get the money that we needed, so we approached the PRC,” said Matt Compton, director of the city’s Parks Department. “Everything the county PRC does is first class, they don’t have a facility downtown, and this would allow them to fill a niche.”

The county has three water parks, several beach parks, boat landings, fishing piers, and even a bring-your-own-horse equestrian center, but no skate parks.

“For us, it’s not just a skate park,” said PRC Executive Director Tom O’Rourke. “We will try to include as many things there as possible; maybe some climbing features, or some fitness programs that take the Ravenel Bridge into consideration.”

Pour It Now members often have said that if a city doesn’t have a skate park, then the whole city is a skate park, a theory that was tested in a highly publicized 2006 video showing a skateboarder being shoved into a bush by a city police officer while skating atop a bench at Waterfront Park.

The city, which has a modest skateboard park in West Ashley, was interested in building a substantial skateboard park but didn’t have the funding for a large one.

“We wouldn’t have been happy with it, and we would have had to operate it,” Compton said. “The park they are contemplating would be one of the largest in the Southeast, so it’s sure to be an instant success.”

Like most Charleston County parks, it would not be free, and as with Mount Pleasant’s tiny skateboard park, skaters would be required to wear safety gear.

“We’re government, so it’s going to be really safe, and it’s going to cost money,” O’Rourke said.

How much money, he couldn’t say, but the hope is to keep admission fees reasonable and make money from hosting tournaments and selling concessions.

“That budget (approved by the PRC commission) starts in July 2010, so it’s not time to run out and buy the skateboards yet,” O’Rourke said.

Edward C. Fennell contributed to this report.

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Charleston City Paper Covers $2M Allocation to Charleston County Skatepark

Downtown skatepark gets $2 million
New Parks and Rec site will include other features
by Christina Janke

The Charleston County Parks and Recreation has approved $2 million to create a skatepark at the foot of the Cooper River Bridge, near Meeting and Huger St. “We’re very excited about this one,” says Executive Director Thomas O’Rourke. “We have enough funding for all of the skate features, which should probably take about $1.5 million alone.”

But they’re not going to stop at just concrete bowls, decks, and ramps. They plan to build a park approximately 40,000 square feet in size, complete with extra features accessible to non-skaters, including a climbing wall. They also plan to offer wellness programs like walking and bike paths that will pair well with the existing Ravenel Bridge walkway.

Getting approved for a project this big was just the first step. Park and Rec will collaborate with the City of Charleston and the Department of Transportation, which currently owns the property they want to build on. And since this project is for the community, the public will have a part in the design process, including surveys and at meetings.

“We will be giving the public every opportunity to put their two cents in,” says O’Rourke.

Work should begin this summer, but until then, skaters will have to be content with sidewalks and railings.

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