Most people who go out and enjoy Chico’s newly renovated Humboldt Neighborhood Skate Park won’t have an inkling about the work behind it.
That’s the case with most public projects. We see the work start, progress being made, and then it’s done.
The skate park on Humboldt Avenue was like that, but the work was years in the making.
There’s a lot to appreciate about the project that isn’t visible.
Thanks to cooperation between skateboarders, supporters, businesses and government, the meetings, planning and fundraisers were time consuming but went smoothly.
Rather than the government — the Chico Area Recreation and Park District — pushing the project, it was skateboarders. They wanted a more challenging venue and they decided to make it happen.
In making their proposal, they suggested their plan could also help CARD.
Vandalism, drunks, drug users and graffiti forced CARD to continually close the fenced park.
Making the park more attractive to adults, without discouraging youngsters, would encourage appropriate use, skateboarders suggested.
Only time will tell if that’s what will happen, but the skateboarders should be commended for their work on this project.
For now, there are a lot of happy boarders.
Bike riders could be happy too, because CARD is considering dropping the bike ban at the smaller park.
There was concern when the city owned the skate park that the two sports didn’t mix.
What we appreciate is the skateboarders’ early pledge to CARD that they would keep an eye on the park, as well as mentor new users. We understand that is developing.
Also developing is the park’s value as a recreation destination.
Chico boarders and others have been driving to Corning or the Sacramento area for more challenging courses. Now, that trend could reverse, with others coming here.
It certainly didn’t hurt that legendary skater Tony Hawk stopped by to try it out. You can’t beat that kind of publicity.
Built by the city in the 1990s, the skate park was transferred to CARD a few years ago. Because of the problems, it was almost a liability. With public-private cooperation, the future of this recreation asset has been turned around.
That’s a nice ending.