Volunteer stewards are a great way of splitting light maintenance demands between Parks and the local skaters. Skaters habitually clear the area they want to skate in of loose debris. It’s a small step to formalize this activity through the Parks Department’s volunteer program. If your local Parks Department doesn’t maintain a volunteer program, there are still some good ways to encourage good stewardship.
When there are problems with a softball field, players and coaches are not usually shy about sharing their suggestions with the Parks Department. Skaters, on the other hand, will not often initiate contact. The onus is on the maintenance crews to gather observations about the condition of the park and what can be done to improve it. Your maintenance crews are your daily contact with the skateboarders. Using this contact to forge a casual partnership will go a long way with the skateboarders and, more importantly, provide them with an easy channel for communicating issues before they become a serious problem for the greater public.
Volunteer stewards can use their hours as evidence of community support for the facility on grant applications, and also help depict a community-supported facility for the local youth.
Sample Maintenance MOU
Smallville Skatepark Association
The Smallville Skatepark Association (SSA) was formed in 2013 by a group of adult and youth skateboarders, bikers, their parents and other interested members of the Smallville community. The primary goal of the SSA is to improve Smallville’s facilities for skateboarding and other action wheel sports (BMX biking, in-line skating, scootering) by raising funds for constructing and maintaining a new state-of-the-art skatepark in Smallville.
The SSA Board of Directors includes skateboarding adults, youth skateboarders, BMX bikers and parents of athletes. Members of the SSA include sports participants from Smallville and nearby unincorporated areas.
The current SSA Board of Directors includes:
President: Clark Kent, Smallville
Vice-president: Lois Lane, Smallville
Treasurer: Lex Luthor, Super County
Secretary: Dr. Doom, Smallville
The SSA has been active since its inception in repairing the existing skatepark, including concrete repairs in joints and gaps, repair of existing structural elements such as replacing and repairing the concrete benches, repairing and replacing the rails, and removing graffiti. The SSA has conducted regular clean-ups to remove trash from the skatepark and its vicinity and has organized a structure for more continuous monitoring of maintenance and clean-up needs.
Smallville “Together We Can”
The SSA is a project of Smallville’s “Together We Can, Inc. (STWC),” a private, nonprofit corporation dedicated to promoting a safe and healthy environment for all Smallville’s residents.
STWC, acting through the Smallville Skatepark Association agrees to assist the Town of Smallville in the maintenance of the Town’s skatepark facilities at Central Park Fields thereby creating a volunteer body such that reduced costs of maintenance are to be incurred by the Town of Smallville. It is estimated that annual costs associated with this effort to be at or less than $1,000.
It is to be accomplished set forth by the following:
- Fundraising for the continued maintenance of the skatepark including but not limited to private donations, T-shirt sales, skate camps, skate contests, sticker sales, and grant applications.
- Maintain the Smallville Skatepark by keeping the site clean, placing trash in the receptacles provided by the town and expeditiously removing any graffiti that appears with solvent(s) or equivalent.
- Maintain the proposed new skatepark and the existing skatepark, including repairs to the surface and structural elements of the park, and replacing structures as needed.
- Establish an Oversight Committee to ensure that the cleaning and maintenance responsibilities of the SSA are carried out on a regular basis and timely fashion in perpetuity. The Oversight Committee consists of at least one member of the SSA Board of Directors and 3 members of the SSA who are responsible for establishing a rotating schedule for overseeing cleaning and maintenance at the skatepark. The Oversight Committee currently consists of (the following individuals, with contact information). These members are responsible for frequent checks of the existing park and the new park once built.