the $50 ypsi skate park initiative

There’s been a lot of press lately about the Ann Arbor Skate Park initiative. I haven’t mentioned it here before, but it’s an impressive project. If the folks behind it get their way, there will soon be a $875,000 cement park for skateboarders in Ann Arbor’s Vets Park. There’s opposition, but the pro-Park folks seem to be pretty well organized. As with everything else worth a damn, I wish it was going to be here in Ypsi, but, as far as I know, they never considered it. [I’m thinking that it could have been a good use for some of the more contaminated areas of the Water Street parcel.]

Don’t worry, though. Ypsialnti isn’t without a skate park. In typical Ypsi fashion, there wasn’t a marketing plan, and there wasn’t a fundraising committee. There were just a few bags of concrete and some metal rails. (See photo above.) It may not be the $875,000 park they’ve got in mind for Ann Arbor, but a bird in the hand, as they say, is worth two in the bush.

I’m sure there are some out there who would call this vandalism. There are some, no doubt, who will say that we should tear it out. Personally, I find the eyesore of the abandoned Shell Station it’s built in front of to be much worse.

I love when stuff like this mysteriously pops up over night. It’s one of the reasons I love Ypsilanti…

[Thanks to Kevin for bringing this to my attention.]

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  1. Posted June 16, 2008 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Sweet post. Sounds like ours is much better.

  2. Paw
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    The reason the Ann Arbor project is so expensive is that it’s under a dome. The idea is to collect all of the pot smoke and deliver it in bottles to the homes of aging hippies.

  3. Rich Sliver
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Are you sure that’s a skatepark and not just leftovers from a typical Ypsi party? All I see is a giant razor blade cutting a massive line of coke.

  4. Steph's Dad
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    There were a group of about 10 people using the “park” this afternoon at about 3:00. It looked pretty cool.

  5. Robert
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    It’s so dumb to construct a dome over a skate park anywhere south of Minneapolis. What a waste of money. Nobody is going to pay to heat it in the winter.

    Ypsilanti should outdo the Ann Arbor skatepark just to show how easy it would be, and how much cheaper it could be.

  6. mark
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    I think we just did, Robert.

    That was the whole point of the post.

  7. mark
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    What’s going to be really cool is when Steve Pierce and his Segway gang join up with the skating kids. They’ll be unstoppable.

  8. Robert
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Well you should do it again then, just to drive them nuts.

  9. mark
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    My picture doesn’t show half the features of our little Ypsi skate park. It’s more ambitious than it looks here… Granted, it’s not a $875,000 skate park, but I still think it’s pretty cool. And, in a lot of ways, I think it’s probably better.

  10. jean
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Concrete can be a beautiful thing. Check out this video of Burnside in Portland:

    Skatepark Ypsi-style…. government comes in afterwards.

    I am working on the A2 Skatepark fundraising and offer a few points of clarification.

    1)No dome in the plans, actually the thing isn’t designed yet. Never heard anyone mention a dome.

    2)The park will be in a public park, but funded through private donations. Building in A2 is expensive. The skatepark will need to be expensive to be good in A2. This doesn’t mean they have to be expensive to be good elsewhere… see video…DIY deluxe

    3)Councilman Steve Kunselman suggested at the end of the last parks and rec meeting that a park on the east side of town should be next. So get organized and get your park.

    Also: This Saturday, June 21st is ‘go skateboarding day’… hey, I didn’t name it. There will be ramps and rails set up in the Westgate parking lot in A2 from 1-3pm … plus giveaways and all the standard stuff. All are welcome.

  11. KD2
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I appreciate the renegade skaters consideration for the other ad hoc uses of that location.

    The ramps and grind rail are far enough to the side that they don’t interfere with the stations frequent use as a parking lot.

  12. Ed
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    As a close neighbor to the ‘park’ I’m really digging it. I don’t skate, but like KD2 think those that are using the lot have been really considerate. I consider them abandoned gas station stewards and think they’re helping keep shadiness out of the area (esp. behind the gas station).

    Nice one, skaters, for doing something constructive with an eyesore.

    I just hope this attention doesn’t reach the parties that consider it vandalism, or what-not.

  13. Reclusion
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Now if we can just stop the landlord of the building directly to the west to stop throwing branches and all his other crap behind the gas station.

    He actually has the nerve to call the city about the gas station mess after he fills the back with junk.

    What an A hole.

  14. Kelsey
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    The people behind this Ypsi skate “park” aren’t hiding what they’re doing. They skate there in broad daylight, and aren’t asked.

  15. Kelsey
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    That last word should have been “masked”.

  16. degutails
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    thanks for posting this. you’ve just made my nine year old’s day – i took him by today to check it out, and he glowed. he’s bringing his board tomorrow.


  17. Posted June 22, 2008 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Actually, we had considered Ypsi and elsewhere in Washtenaw County as potential locations for the skatepark initially. Even after we’d settled on Ann Arbor, we tried to help folks in Ypsi with their own plans (a landscape architect working on a master plan for Riverside and Frog Island parks proposed a skatepark to the Depot Town Community Development Corp last year) – just as we’ve had folks from the Jackson skatepark group come help with ours. Among skaters, it’s all good – we’re not really into oneupsmanship, just doing our own thing and cheering each other on for doing it.

    I’m stoked to see any skater-driven project come to fruition, be it a backyard ramp, an Ypsi gas station, or a monster park in Farmington Hills. There have been similar guerilla initiatives in A2 involving quickcrete, ramps under bridges, etc. – but now we’re playing for keeps.

    P.S. If you guys want a 4’x2′ launch ramp with a tight transition for your setup, let me know. Painted white, side wheels, garaged, basically new. Pick up and haul away and it’s yours…

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