President: Kyle Little
Art Director: Andrew Tamminga
“I Love Skateboarding"
We are going to be promoting a Post a “I Love Skateboarding’ Sticker at area businesses. You will be able to donate $1 or $5, sign a card and show your support of The Portage Family Skate Park Project. Take a selfie and upload it to facebook.com/portageskatepark or twitter.com/portagesk8park
Download your > Feb fundraiser sheets < and put them up in your Business then send the donation to
Make checks out to: Kiwanis
In the memo write: Skateboard Park
Send Checks to; Kiwanis- Rita: Skateboard Park
Prairie Flower Beads
210 W Cook St.
Portage WI, 53901
By Brooke McGee
The Portage School District made a wise choice when deciding to close school and their administration building on Tuesday, January 7. Despite the arctic chill in the air, those who were willing were invited into the warmth of Portage Family Skate Park program President Kyle Little’s home to conduct business as usual with the weekly public meeting.
Plummeting temperatures apparently had little effect on the rising enthusiasm for the upcoming skate park. Gathered around his dining room table were the usual committee members and volunteers, grateful for the warm hospitality. Additional visitors then began showing up, with interested individuals even coming from outlying villages for first-time appearances, ideas and motivation in tow.
The encouraging meeting highlighted two mile markers for the PFSP. Word reached the table during the course of the meeting that $20,000 in funds have now been raised, dollar by dollar and through good ol’ fashioned hard work. Additionally, the project broke 700 “likes” on Facebook, mounting proof that as warm weather is being dreamed of, so is the dream of the park’s ground-breaking ceremony.
Future fundraising events were reviewed with excitement and gratitude as well, with the local Portage Pizza Hut being praised for their ongoing January fundraiser which will offer its customers the opportunity to donate $1 along with their meals. Ongoing efforts by Keith’s recycling and Papa Murphy’s were highlighted as well.
Nearing the end of what was already a successful encounter, one final chime of the doorbell beckoned in 12-year old Seth, accompanied by his mother Jodie Noble. With a gleaming face and check in hand, Seth presented to Kyle monies earned from can collecting, the single largest donation by cans so far. His hard work was commended and Seth was awarded one of PFSP’s one-of-a-kind T-shirts for his ongoing efforts.
Check back soon for additional information on Seth and how he and his family has and are continuing to make a difference in their community. Upcoming events will also be highlighted in detail so that fellow community members can contribute if able or help by word-of-mouth advertising on behalf of the PFSP.
By Brooke McGee
Kanten Russell, you may know the name because of his 12 years as a pro skateboarder. More recently, you may know him because of his work designing custom skateparks throughout the United States. Currently, his ears may be ringing because of an ongoing project in nearby Madison, WI.
Recently, Kanten made a trip from his home in San Diego, CA to come to Madison, WI. Along with the City of Madison Parks Division, Kanten Russell of Stantec- Action Sports Design (ASD), displayed to the Madison Skatepark Fund (MSF) members and the public design layouts for Madison’s first upcoming skatepark. Persistent in their efforts to succeed, the Portage Family Skate Park project (PFSP) was represented in the audience as well, listening intently to MSF’s ongoing efforts.
“I didn’t have a skate park growing up,” Kanten mentioned while offering personal encouragement. “Because of that, I didn’t get into skating until what you would call a later age- my early teens. My good friend got me into it and I was hooked. Now, I enjoy designing parks just as much. It’s amazing how every area has different preferences, such variety.”
These area preferences and regional differences are one important aspect for public feedback. Without the input from local residents, designers and planners can be left frustrated if they lack the interaction with area residents.
“I’ve really enjoyed touching back with skateparks where we have had a lot of good communication,” Kanten told us. “When following up, we’ve even heard: ‘Is it possible to be too successful?’ Typically, it’s underestimated how much a skatepark will be utilized, or how much business it will bring to an area. You don’t need to form a team or rely on others to show up. It’s a creative expression and you set your own style and goals. It’s a very unique sport that helps build confidence and physical stamina.”
Like Stantec and the MSF, Portage is very open to suggestion and feedback when it comes to the planning process of the Portage Family Skate Park project. “We want the feedback of the public too,” PFSP President Kyle Little encourages. “We need to know your concerns. We want to hear what you think is working. If you’re curious or concerned, just ask. Better yet, come to one of our meetings and see how we operate. If you have a tight schedule, we have a contact form online at Portageskatepark.org or you can give us a Tweet. History shows a better outcome this way. I strongly believe that is one thing all of us in Portage have in common- we all want a successful outcome.”
“When you get the entire community involved you get the best results,” Kanten pointed out. “Madison is very fortunate that they have so many backing the park. Community members are coming out to find out what it’s all about. It’s a collaboration. We hear what they’re saying and we all come to a mutual agreement, though there is compromise. But that compromise is made together and with the community in mind.”
It is because of Madison’s community input that a “slam wall,” a term coined by retired pro skater David Mayhew’s older brother Chris and his friends will likely be a part of the Madison Skatepark design. This iconic feature is uniquely derived from Madison’s State Street and there is a strong desire to proudly incorporate this into the design.
“Ultimately it will always be the community’s park,” Kanten stated. “We can definitely provide some solid advice based on experience but the community is going to get what they want. It is entirely a community process. I know our design firm has a lot of passion for working with a group to bring their dream concept to life.”
The community’s park- that truth is the reason why the Portage Family Skate Park project’s meetings are always open to the public each and every Tuesday. “I think the idea of a unique, iconic symbol is inspirational,” one Portage volunteer stated. “We have some very creative individuals in Portage, our community arts center demonstrates that. I’d be curious to see what Portage could come up with.”
“One aspect about the parks that I like to build is the opportunity it creates for individuals of all ages feel welcome. Family skate parks are great like that. You have areas for the beginners where they can learn and build back to more intricate, skill-based areas. It really becomes timeless and grows with the families.”
Regardless of the city, there are at times those who oppose skateboarding. These reasons can vary greatly, from the relaxed clothing (“the look”) needed to operate a board freely, to preconceived notions by those who merely do not understand the sport. “Skateboarding can have very difficult, intricate moves,” Kanten explained. “It really is a complex action sport at the professional level, just like any sport can be. The time and skill that it takes to master some of those skills shouldn’t be overlooked, it shows the drive behind an individual and what potential they have. I feel it shows determination in life.”
The Portage Family Skate Park project meetings are held every Tuesday at 5-6:30 PM at the Gerstenkorn Administration Building, 305 East Slifer St. in Portage, room 20.
You can follow Kanten Russell of Stantec/ASD on Twitter at @KantenRussell, @ASDSTUDIO, and @Stantec. Information on skate parks can be found likewise at actionsportdesign.com.
For updates and progress on the Portage Family Skate Park project, you can follow them on Twitter at @Portagesk8park or at Facebook.com/Portageskatepark. Interested in donating time, energy or even the almighty dollar? The PFSP does accept Paypal, but even more, (Website! Click! Yes- it’s really that easy…) they accept your support. Broke? We know the feeling. For the low, low cost of one stamp you can send letters of support to “PFSP President: Kyle Little, 327 River Street, Portage, WI 53901.” It’s that simple, just send a letter to give some encouragement and let them know you’re rooting for the park!
One Can, One Brick at a Time
By Brooke McGee
How do you build a skate park? One brick at a time. Taking those words to heart, young inspiration found right within our community is doing something similar, by collecting one can at a time. With the largest single donation of this kind so far, 12-year old Seth Noble has generously donated to the Portage Family Skate Park project, and with more to come.
We are all aware how one small stone thrown into a pond creates ripples, ripples that radiate outward into the surrounding water. Inspiration works in a similar way and Seth has been inspiring others around him to make a difference as well.
“This is a big thing for Seth,” his mother Jenny Noble said. “He always wants to go to the skate park in Baraboo, but with busy schedules and the distance, that’s not always possible.” Seth’s solution? He decided he was going to take matters into his own hands- and began collecting cans.
Seth’s hard work was commended by the committee and he received one of PFSP’s one-of-a-kind T-shirts for his contribution and ongoing efforts. His enthusiasm too was contagious and the beaming smile that he brought with him passed easily through the members and those hearing of his hard work.
Just like the ripples in the pond, Seth’s efforts have radiated out, gaining the full backing of his parents. From there, they too have begun collecting and accepting cans from friends and neighbors, even talking to businesses in Madison in attempts to coordinate fundraising efforts on behalf of the PFSP.
“I like the location,” Seth told us. “Having things to do all at one place (Goodyear Park) for different ages is awesome. We are practically the only town without (a skate park),” he added.
Although donations can be made in countless ways, Portage’s local Keith’s Recycling company is currently accepting donations on behalf of the PFSP. Beginning in October of last year, they launched their campaign of support, happily taking can donations and taking care of the rest for those who do so. Now, their generosity has expanded even more and Aluminum, Copper, Brass, Stainless Steel and Iron can be donated specifically for the park. Those who wish to share their donation or a portion of it merely need to let them know and the funds will be allocated onwards to the PFSP. This is an excellent way to not only show your support for the community, but to participate in important recycling efforts that will help Portage remain clean and more self-sustaining.
In regards to one brick at a time, bricks are a realistic option as well. The PFSP is currently featuring a Brick Fundraiser on the main page of their website, portageskatepark.org. Bricks can be engraved with a minimum donation of $125, stamping your efforts in stone for future generations to see. Teams are encouraged for those who wish to band together and contribute what they can towards brick donations.
Despite cans and bricks, the way in which you can show your support as Seth has is endless. Even word of mouth, wearing the “swag” or volunteer work (hey, it will look great on your college resume!) can help accomplish this goal.
Business and individuals are also invited to donate in-kind. What does that mean? Take our newsletter for example, it is graciously printed and donated by Portage’s O’Brion Agency, a printing and copy company. Advertising on your personal website, construction material donations or even security services at large upcoming events such as the 2nd Annual Portage Skate Park Marathon are ways you can make a difference.
The Portage Family Skate Park project can be followed on Twitter at @Portagesk8park for updates on events such as the marathon. Curious? Maps, details and registration forms can be found online at Portageskatepark.org.
Warming Up and Moving Forward
After a pretty cold beginning to the year and taking a few weeks off from meeting members of The Portage Family Skate Park Committee met on Tuesday, January 21st.
Exciting news to share with you is that as a committee we have been able to raise $20,414.51!! Thank you to all the individuals, families and businesses that have supported us over the last 6 months. Combined with the $30,000 that the City of Portage has designated and committed to the building of the Portage Family Skate Park in Goodyear Park we have now reached $50,414.51!!!
This news warmed our hearts and we are excited to share with you two of our upcoming February Fundraisers!
On Tuesday, February 18, 2014 we are holding a Chicken Soup Fundraiser. We’ll be serving up warm bowls of soup, roll, crackers, beverage and desserts from Noon to 6:30 in Couper Hall at St. John the Baptist Church, 211 West Pleasant Street, Portage.
We also are going to be promoting a Post a “I Love Skateboarding’ Sticker at area businesses. You will be able to donate $1 or $5, sign a card and show your support of The Portage Family Skate Park Project.
This month Pizza Hut is accepting donations from their customers and Health Source of Portage is supporting us when you ask for an X-Ray of your spine the $27 cost will be donated to The Portage Skate Park Project. Health Source of Portage has informed us they are continuing to offer the Get an X-Ray of your back for a $27 donation to The Portage Family Skate Park.
Donation Jars are located in several area businesses – when you shop locally ask if they are taking donations towards The Portage Family Skate Park and put your change in the designated container. Just ask the cashier to put your change or your coins into The Portage Family Skate Park Fund . . . if they don’t have one yet and you want to donate you can save your change at home and then bring in a container of change to one of our meetings and we’ll give you’ll receive a receipt for your records.
We’re expecting to receive a pledge from a local bank in the next week or so and keep watch for future fundraisers by local Hair and Nail Salons . . . a Golf Outing and our 2nd Annual SkateBoard Marathon.
It seems the entire city is warming to the idea and reality of having a family friendly and safe Skate Board Park for our community and the surrounding area!
We’re moving forward together – Happy New Year Portage!
By Brooke McGee
David Mayhew, retired pro-skater, has far from given up his board. Now, he spends his time giving back to the community in addition to co-owning and operating Alumni Skateshop in Madison, WI. In addition to this, David is working with the Madison Skatepark Fund to bring the first public skateboard park to the city of Madison.
“Skateboarding has given me so much,” David said. “I want to give back now. It’s a great sport and teaches you self-confidence.”
Growing up in Madison, David had attempted to inspire energy within the city to raise a skate park. Although that dream did not aspire at that time, he did not give up on his goals. After eventually retiring from pro skateboarding, David returned from San Diego, picking up where he left off.
“In a way it was a gift,” David said about the skate park he wanted in the past. “There’s a lot we have learned over the years in terms of building a safe and adequate park. What would have been outdated by now will be a very modern skate park that has decades of research behind it. It will be able to bridge generation gaps that weren’t always addressed before.”
That thought uniquely supports the mission of the Portage Family Skate Park as well, with age diversity one of the motivations behind the design of Goodyear Park of Portage, WI. Another common thread? A determined and persevering desire to produce a safe and legal skate park for their communities.
“Stigmas are being broken,” David said with enthusiasm. “Skating is everywhere. You see it in movies, you’ve seen it in Nike® commercials, in videogames, everywhere. And then after that, they tell kids- you can’t skate here, we won’t provide a park. That’s just frustrating. Skateboarding is a legitimate sport. Safety needs to be taught, just like it is with football and concussions.”
According to Madisonskatepark.com, there are more than 2,000 public skate parks across the country, more than five times as many as 1996. With the support seen, partnered with the rising enthusiasm beginning to boil in Madison as well as Portage, it is undeniable that the demand is here. Along with that, comes the demand for skate shops.
Because of the increasing attention skateboarding is gaining, Alumni Boardshop is on the verge of expansion. A second shop will be opening in June at 1150 Williamson St. in Madison, directly near the future site of Madison’s own upcoming skate park. A hope that Kyle Little, President of the Portage Family Skate Park Project also holds, to instill a board shop of his own, right in Portage.
“I’m an advocate for as many good parks as possible David stated, “Because I never had it. My friends and I would drive to Rockford where they had an indoor park at the time.” That memory is one that fortunately Portage and Madison youth alike will not have to grow with.
“Skateboarding has a lot of big names behind it and it brings tourism to your area, that’s something city governments and business owners need to realize,” David says. “I have my friends who are heading to demonstration or promotional tours in Chicago or Minneapolis and when they give me a call, I’ve had to tell them we didn’t have a park. Now, all that is changing.”
Alumni will be hosting a venue featuring a new skateboarding video premiere at Madison’s Majestic Theatre on Sunday, March 16. “We Do It” is Alumni’s fourth video premier, filmed and edited by the skaters themselves. A $5 minimum donation is requested with additional opportunities to purchase tickets at $5 each for one-of-a-kind and other skate-related memorabilia. Funds are being generously contributed to the MSF. With winter upon us, this is the perfect opportunity to show our support, educate yourself, or merely take in entertainment and be amazed at the talent and athleticisms that skateboarding can offer.
You can find out more about Alumni Boardshop (and see their other videos) at Alumniboardshop.com, or by following them on Twitter at @Alumniboardshop. The Portage Family Skate Park wishes to extend a sincere thank you to David Mayhew for his generous time donated to this interview. In addition to his time, David has autographed one of PFSP’s custom boards for an upcoming raffle to show his support and assist in fundraising efforts for Portage’s own skate park (to be announced). For upcoming information on this raffle, check out the PFSP at portageskatepark.org or follow the park on @Portagesk8park or on Facebook.
"I just want to skate to have fun!"
The quote is from a young boy who was talking about why he wanted a Skate Park in the City of Portage. That's a good thing! More kids want to skate for fun rather then becoming a competitive skater. That's a healthy attitude for children and their families to take into this project.
- June Paul
Current and Future Fundraiser Events
Sometimes because of reasons out of our control we neglect our health. PFSP and Healthsource of Portage Have come together to benefit you and us. Print these coupons skate Park coupon and give them to friends, family and loved ones. This could be an early holiday gift for someone. Your health is no laughing matter. *BIG NEWS* This offer has been extended to the end of February.
Tuesday Feb 18 @ St John the Baptist 211 W Pleasant Street Portage, Wisconsin. Serving 11:30 am - 6:00pm. This Fundraising event is a benefit for the Portage Family Skate Park Project. Would you like to donate food items or plastic or paper items email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or how about volunteer click the link http://portageskatepark.org/join-pfsp/ Meal to include Soup, roll and drink-Milk, Coffee or Water for 5$ or include a dessert with your meal for 7$. We will have shirts for sale for 10$ and Sticker packs for 3$ a sheet. Also, 1 hooded zip up sweatshirt for 40$. Limited edition PFSP/Elements decks for 40$.There will also be buy-a-square-game-board for your chance to win a one of a kind skatedeck signed by Pro AM Rider Brandon Hanson. 5$ a square.
Pizza Hut is wrapping up a deal with the PFSP!
Visit the local Portage, Wisconsin Pizza Hut and enjoy great pizza while the little ones color on one of a kind PFSP coloring sheets. Get your flier and learn how you can help this great project. Also, Pizza Hut will be excepting donations on our behalf. Find information hear http://www.pizzahut.com/locations/wisconsin/Portage/008766 or call 608.742.8829
Keith's Recycling Inc.
We take Aluminum, Copper, Brass, Stainless Steel and Iron. Any of these metals may be donated for the Portage Family Skate Park Project.
A Brief History of Skateboarding
From President: Kyle Little
Since2000, attention in the media and products like skateboarding video games, children's skateboards and commercialization have all pulled skateboarding more and more into the mainstream. The benefit of this is that, of course, skaters are more accepted, and the assumption that all skaters are criminals is slowly being torn down. Also, with more money being put into skateboarding, there are more skateparks, better skateboards, and more skateboarding companies to keep innovating and inventing new things.
However, there is a large group of skaters who miss the underground days, and who strongly disagree with the way skateboarding has been made more mainstream. One benefit of skateboarding is that it is a very individual activity. There is no right or wrong way to skate. However, if skateboarding is officially classified as a "sport", many skaters fear that this freedom will die out. There is currently a great deal of concern about skateboarding becoming an Olympic sport (read Skateboarding in the Olympics?for more).
But, with all this history crammed into such a short period of time, it's easy to see that no one knows where skateboarding will truly go from here. Skateboarding still hasn`t stopped evolving, and skaters are coming up with new tricks all the time. Boards are also continuing to evolve, as companies try to make them lighter and stronger, or try to improve on their performance. Skateboarding has always been about personal discovery and pushing oneself to the limit, but where will skateboarding go from here? Wherever skaters continue to take it.
Many Hands Will Make
The Portage Family Skate Park a Reality!
If You Can Help
WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU CAN HELP
Please Contact us
Thank You for Helping!
Make donations payable to: Kiwanis
Memo: Skate board park.
c/o Rita: Skateboard Park,
Prairie Flower Beads,
210 W Cook Street, Portage, WI 53901
We also are Paypal Verified! PayPal is the faster, safer way to Donate.
"No child left inside" Mayor William Tierney Portage, Wisconsin
What size is our Skate Park Going to Be? Will it be Big Enough? Too Big?
Our Skate Park is expected to be about 75' by 110'
The Splash Pad is 30' X 30'
A basketball court is 94' by 50'
We think it will be a great size for our community AND it will be great for all skill levels!