In 1999 the Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation Commission started the process to address a permanent and quality skatepark. The Community Development Partnership of Western Carroll County (CDP) conducted a survey in 2001 that overwhelmingly supported a new skatepark. Parks held a Public Hearing attended by children and parents that supported that conclusion.
On a temporary basis the City of Eureka Springs donated the use of the City Auditorium in the Spring of 2001. The skaters and adult volunteers built several ramps in approximately 3,000 square feet of space. This was accomplished with a $7500 donation from Parks and materials donated by local lumber companies.
Another committee was formed and studied 8-10 possible locations of which only two seemed suitable for a skatepark. Both sites identified met most of the survey criteria but both sites had neighborhood opposition. In June of 2003 the City of Eureka Springs received a large grant to remodel the City Auditorium and the skaters were asked to relocate.
In November 2003 the Parks Commission decided to relocate the skatepark in Harmon Park. A new committee was formed comprised of a local newspaper publisher, a contractor, a parks commissioner, two skateboarders and a member of the Writers Colony which is the largest neighbor of the park. To help eliminate noise complaints the skatepark was located in another section of the park and concrete was chosen as the building material. The decision was made to hire a professional organization with a completion date of June 1st.
The latest committee produced extraordinary results in a short period of time. The City Council committed $25,000, which was a significant portion of their capital budget. Our state representatives worked diligently to try and find state funding. The skatepark committee spearheaded a fundraising drive in partnership with the Community Development Partnership, the city, civic organizations and the police department. It is fair to say the entire community has watched this problem exist for the last 12 years and finally decided to act decisively and build a quality skatepark for our children.
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