We Reached our Goal: $250,000



The Skatepark Project

The Tony Hawk Foundation

After receiving thousands of e-mails from parents and children across America who did not have a safe, legal place to skate and in some cases arrested for skating on public property or seriously injured or killed from riding on the streets, professional skateboarder Tony Hawk decided to establish a foundation whose mission would be to serve this population. He wanted to help them develop quality places to practice the sport that gives them much needed exercise and a sense of self-esteem. So in 2002 he established the The Skatepark Project, financed the organization with a personal gift, and assembled a Board of Directors that represents a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise.
Since its inception, The Skatepark Project has sought to foster lasting improvements in society, with an emphasis on supporting and empowering youth. Through special events, grants, and technical assistance, the Foundation supports recreational programs focusing on the creation of public skateboard parks and other causes in the U.S. and overseas. The Foundation favors projects that have a strong community involvement, grassroots fundraising, and a base of support from skaters, parents, law enforcement, and local leaders.
Across the country, more than 1,800 communities have addressed this growing trend by building skateparks of their own. Let’s build a skatepark in Ellicottville, NY!


The Benefits of Skateparks

The Tony Hawk Foundation says it best: “Skateparks draw visitors of all ages, from all walks of life. The skatepark becomes a terrific place to find people with similar interests, and most lifelong skateboarders have great friends that they met while skateboarding. In skateparks we see parents skating with their kids, young people offering tips to older folks, poor folks skating with wealthy folks, and so on. Skateparks are where people go to have fun and challenge themselves in a safe, appropriate environment – with their friends and within their community.”
Why build a skatepark?

  • Skateparks promote an active lifestyle. Whether participants are on skateboards, scooters or BMX bikes, skateparks provide a great cardio workout.
  • Skateparks are a win-win: they provide a safe space for participants and help protect property of local businesses and homeowners.
  • Skateparks draw visitors of all ages and can provide economic benefits.
  • Skateboarding will make its debut at the Summer Olympics in 2020. As a result, the sport is likely to see tremendous growth throughout the U.S. and across the globe.
  • Well-designed and well-built skateparks require minimal maintenance.

Skateparks may conjure an image of youth skating by doing dangerous tricks, but as freelance writer Jeff Ihaza points out in his recently published New York Times article, “Skateboarders Won” … “Aging Gen Xers grew up alongside skateboarding’s ascent in popular culture, from Bart Simpson plonking down onto the roof of the family car in the opening sequence of ‘The Simpsons’ to blockbuster video game franchises like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Skatboarding is no longer something people fear. The skate punk of the late 1980’s is now a suburban dad.”

Picture This!

What Does a Skatepark Look Like?

A quick survey of today’s skateparks reveals a diverse offering. Most skateparks larger than 8,000 square feet offer a variety of terrain, generally including different flavors for an assortment of skate abilities and preferences. The layout of a concrete skatepark can include both street (flat surfaces, stairs and rails) and transitional elements (bowls, curved surfaces, half pipes). They may feature premium materials like granite, brick, marble or even incorporate large boulders. Some are beautifully landscaped and suggest a reflective environment, while others are designed more like sporting arenas with bleacher seating.
The design of Ellicottville’s skatepark will welcome input from community members, village officials, local skaters and other end-users who will work closely with the Village of Ellicottville Engineer and a certified concrete skatepark architect/builder which the Village will hire based on approval by the Tony Hawk Foundation. This is to ensure the skatepark is properly designed and properly built so as to last many years to come.

picture a skatepark

An Opportunity

Grant Funding Available

Ralph C. Wilson Jr. FoundationDuring the summer of 2018, a group of local citizens and skateboard advocates met with the The Skatepark Project about an opportunity that could help Ellicottville build its very own skatepark for its community.
The Skatepark Project offers a special grant program and its mission is to help communities throughout the region build outdoor, concrete skateparks that are open to the public and free to use. The Skatepark Project has partnered with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to help fund these skateparks in our region.
Together, the foundations are offering matching construction grants, dollar-for-dollar, up to $250,000. According to the Tony Hawk Foundation, an outdoor concrete skatepark costs approximately $50 per square foot. With the matching grant, Ellicottville can secure a total of $500,000 which will allow us to build a 10,000 square foot facility.
When we learned about this grant program, we immediately reached out to Ellicottville Mayor John Burrell and members of the Ellicottville Village Board. We introduced the project to the Board in October 2018, and received unanimous support for the project. That following spring, The Village Board immediately offered a location within the Village Park for the proposed skatepark.

Grant Application

Ellicottville Awarded $300,000

This past fall, we worked closely with the Village Board and their grant writer to fill out the application for the The Skatepark Project grant. The application was submitted in September, and the announcement was made just before Thanksgiving. We are happy to announce that we have been awarded the $250,000 matching grant! With this grant, we were also awarded a non-matching $50,000 green grant, to help offset any environmental impact that may result from the construction of the skatepark.
It is important to note that in order for The Skatepark Project to release the $250,000 matching grant, we have to first come up with the match, and we have a deadline.
Our goal is to raise $250,000. It is a lot of money, which is why it is so important that we have the whole community onboard as well as supportive partnerships including your business or organization. The Village of Ellicottville along with our dedicated group of local citizens – Ellicottville Skatepark Committee, aka SK8EVL, assumes the responsibility to develop advocacy, develop meaningful relationships, and raise the money necessary to make this project come to fruition.
The support that this project has already received has been tremendous! From our local school and Chamber of Commerce to the New York State Assembly, the vision to bring a state-of-the-art skatepark to Ellicottville is encouraging.

Secured Account

Ellicottville Skatepark Fund at Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation

We have partnered with the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation (CRCF), where a secure fund has been established for all monies raised for the project, including your corporate sponsorship. The account also allows the public to make tax-deductible contributions directly to the Ellicottville Skatepark Fund at CRCF in support of the project, and following the completion of the project, will allow for an ongoing source of funding for future needs, including maintenance, youth programming, etc. search “Ellicottville Skatepark Fund”
Cattaraugus Region Community FoundationT
The fund can also be accessed by direct link via a donate button at