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Skatepark success community effort

Posted: Friday, Oct 5th, 2012

Monte Vista Community Fund tackles big projects

MONTE VISTA — The Montez Skatepark has been nothing short of a community effort.

Organizer Bob Bryning says, "We have seen communities come together before to make a skatepark a reality, but I must say, we were moved by the generosity and dedication of the community of Monte Vista. "

He pointed out that a skatepark project typically takes years from design to completion and often volunteers become discouraged.

"Well, that is not the case in Monte Vista."

Senior project

Back in 2004, three senior boys from Monte Vista High School took on the challenge, as their senior project, to find out what type of recreation facility was needed in the community.

After compiling their data and sifting through the replies, the overall response was a skatepark. They then presented their findings to the school board and city council.

After hearing about the boys' efforts and the strong need and desire for a skatepark, the Monte Vista Community Fund (MVCF) decided to take on the project.

As a local not-for-profit, they often choose a cause for the year and assist with fundraising efforts.

Due to their non-profit status, they are able to offer a tax write-off for donations and entice local citizens to continue to give.

In addition to running the Kids Connection Program, the community fund has a variety of local projects they assist with each year. In 2010 one of those projects was the skate park.

Rally helps out

Working with Rally in the Valley, a fundraising arm for the fund, to help promote, raise funds and get the community involved, fundraising efforts began.

Rally in the Valley is a two-day event that takes place on Father’s Day weekend each year.

The heart and soul of the Rally in the Valley is the Garcia family, the owners of two local businesses, Alibi's Sports Bar and Grill and Absolute Shine.

They take on this event with full force; no rock goes unturned when it comes to the Garcia family.

“Every town should be issued a Garcia family when they are given their charter.” says Bryning, “They make things happen!”

Rally involves hundreds

The Rally in the Valley is made possible through volunteers and the efforts of the local community.

Members of the Rally in the Valley committee take out personal loans each year in order to secure vendors, prizes and extras for this big event.

They are known for big give-aways, such as motorcycles, cars and cash. The rally includes bands, poker runs, auctions, raffles and much more.

In just the past few years, the rally has generated seed money for the playground at Bill Metz Elementary School, the Skateboard park, the 4H Livestock Utility Building, a Sound System for Ski Hi Park and the Faith Hinkley Memorial.

Montez drew support

The community truly came together for the skateboard park. Donations from Kiwanis and Rotary, local dance contests, a multitude of sponsors, small and large donations from individuals, and in-kind donations from businesses raised funds to help secure grants.

The next step for the MVCC members was to go after grant monies to aid the funding for the skate park.

Paperwork was submitted for two Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO)grants which primarily funded this project, along with a Tony Hawk Foundation Grant.

MVCF is most grateful to one of their volunteers, Brenda Wreford, for the excellent job of writing one of the GOCO grants, along with the Tony Hawk Foundation Grant, thus helping to secure the funding.

In the end, the Montez Skate Park project received two GOCO grants, one to purchase the necessary land for the skate park and a second one for the design and construction of the park and its amenities.

They also recieved a third grant of $10,000 from the Tony Hawk Foundation.

GOCO was created in 1992 when Colorado voters directed a portion of Lottery proceeds towards Colorado’s wildlife, parks, rivers, trails and open spaces.

Up to 50 percent of the lottery proceeds go to GOCO, which is governed by a 17-member board of Dbrectors appointed by the Governor.

The board distributes GOCO’s share of Lottery proceeds each year via competitive grants and investments in the Colorado Division of Parks & Wildlife. GOCO typically offers two competitive grant cycles annually in the fall and spring.

This project could not have happened without the dedication and commitment of the community.

Not only did Monte Vista Community Fund Members work diligently to raise funds, but many local businesses and the city of Monte Vista also pitched in.

By having items such as pre-construction labor, materials and equipment donated, more funds went into the actual square footage of the skatepark.

The REC removed 21 trees that were past their prime and becoming a hazard, while Earth Movers removed all the stumps and the city handled much of the excavation and grading to name just a few of the donated services.

Destination entertainment

The selected site is situated across from a very popular, state of the art, playground at Marsh School. This playground often attracts out of town visitors and weekend traffic, so what better location for the skate park?

With traffic lights already in place offering a safe crossing for users, the skate park should be a great addition to that “destination” draw the playground already seems to have become.

Ultimately, bringing out-of-town visitors to the park will, in return, bring revenue to the local businesses.

This was a turn key project for the team that was handling all aspects of the skatepark facility, such as design, construction, storm water management, restrooms, lighting, fencing and spectator viewing areas.

When designing the park, Bryning said, the team felt it was important to design a park-like setting that provided a place for every family member, not just the users.

The final product is an 11,000 square-foot skatepark, that includes a 8,500 sq. ft. snake run ranging from five- to seven-foot depths, a frame bank/ledge, china banks, step up gap, escalating quarter pipe, mini ramp with competition stair handrail hubba setup and much, much more. There is no other skate park like this in the area and MVCF is proud to be a part of this amazing project and look forward to seeing the locals enjoy all their hard work. The skate park is currently under construction with a grand opening yet to be set, but it's anticipated in the spring of 2013.

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