Friday, August 1, 2014

The Skateboard Coalition is Just Food Co-op's Community Partner for August

For the month of August 2014, the Skateboard Coalition will be Just Food Co-op's community partner. What does this mean? It means that if you shop at the co-op, you have the opportunity to round up your total at check-out, and Just Food will donate the difference to the Skateboard Coalition. 

For example, my total today came to $23.19. I rounded up to $24.00, which means that 81¢ will be donated to the Coalition. The more people who round up, the more all of that spare change will add up to. So spread the word and tell your parents, friends, and relatives to shop at Just Food and round up for the Skateboard Coalition. 

Note: If you are paying with a credit or debit card, remember to tell the cashier that you want to round up before you swipe your card, so he or she can enter the rounded up total.

A big Thank You to Just Food Co-op for partnering with the Skateboard Coalition to help bring a skateboard park to Northfield. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Skatepark Benefit Concert and Design Meeting

A lot has happened in the past couple of days. On Sunday, July 27, the Skateboard Coalition hosted a benefit concert at The Key, featuring local acts BK, E-Man, Dewi Sant, El Triunfo, and The Cutters. The concert was held in the back yard of The Key, with bands setting up on the new stage constructed by Key members.  

Here's a slideshow of photos from the concert.

You can also find the photos here on Flickr.

The Skateboard Coalitions raised $425 on concert admissions and t-shirt sales. At last week's Coalition meeting, we also sent out thank you notes to twelve different contributors who gave a combined total of $450 through in June. We're making good progress on fundraising, but we need to keep the momentum going and pick up the pace if we want to start construction next spring.

The best way to contribute toward the skatepark is to send a check made out to "Northfield HCI" and send it to Northfield HCI, 1651 Jefferson Parkway Suite HS 128, Northfield, MN 55057 (write "Skateboard Coalition" in the memo line). You can also contribute online with a credit card through our page

"This is legit!" Brad Siedlecki, president of Pillar Design Studios, looking at designs drawn by Charley with input from members of the Skateboard Coalition. One original Skateboard Coalition member present at today's meeting with Brad said the meeting left him more stoked about the skateboard park than he'd been in years.

The other exciting development this week was yesterday's meeting with Brad Siedlecki, president of Pillar Design Studios, who was in town to get input from the Skateboard Coalition and neighbors of Old Memorial Park. Brad looked at drawings made by Charley Markson with input from the Coalition, and was impressed with what he saw. He said that in his fourteen years as a professional skatepark designer, Charley's drawings were the best any skateboarder had shown him. The drawings will provide a good starting point for a professional design. 

Brad met with representatives of NESNA in the morning, then sat down with the Coalition from 1:30 to 3:00. From 5:00 to 6:30 pm, he joined assistant city engineer Brian Erickson for a public meeting in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. There was no formal presentation, but members of the public were able to ask Brad and Brian questions about the design and siting of the skateboard park.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Northfield Skateboard Coalition T-Shirt

If you come down to The Key on Sunday for the Concert for the Skateboard Park, you can be one of the first people in town to pick up a stylish Northfield Skateboard Coalition tee. Just $12!

Concert for the Northfield Skateboard Park

Come down to The Key on Sunday, July 27, at 3:00 p.m. for a Concert for the Skateboard Park, featuring popular local acts BK, E-Man, Dewi Sant, El Triunfo, and The Cutters. While you're enjoying the music, pick up a fabulous Northfield Skateboard Coalition t-shirt, button, or sticker. Entry to the concert is $5. All proceeds go toward the construction of a skateboard park in Northfield.

Find out more at the event page on Facebook

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Skateboard Coalition Video

Why should Northfielders support a skatepark? In this new video from the Skateboard Coalition, local skaters and other youth, adult community members, local business owners, and the Northfield Chief of Police all give their compelling answers to that question. Please take ten minutes to watch the video, share it, and encourage others to show their support and make a financial contribution.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Northfield Women Supporting the Skateboard Park

On Saturday night, May 10, 2014, an amazing group of women got together in the Old Memorial Park neighborhood to show their support for the Skateboard Coalition and raise money for the skateboard park. Several speakers eloquently expressed their hope that the community will come together to support a group young people who have worked long and hard to fulfill the dream of a skateboard park in Northfield.

The women who attended the event were treated to an extended “rough cut” of a fundraising video created by Cecilia Cornejo, with some footage provided by the skateboarders themselves.

In all, twenty women attended the event, and between them contributed $1,770 toward the construction of the skateboard park. With those contributions and the $320 raised through, the Northfield Skateboard Coalition has raised $2,090 in the past two weeks.

The Skateboard Coalition wishes to thank the organizers of Saturday night’s event: Carolyn Link, Mary Dunnewold, Kathryn Jamison, and Clara Hardy. It’s wonderful to receive such heartfelt support from the community.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Support the Northfield Skateboard Coalition

photo courtesy of Shay Canning
In the right sidebar of this blog, you’ll see a widget that allows you to make a secure online donation to the Northfield Skateboard Coalition through its fiscal agent, the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative. All donations will go toward designing and building a permanent skateboard park in Old Memorial Park in Northfield.

In 1986, Northfield passed an ordinance that prohibited skateboarding within “the central business district.” Three years later, the late Bev Finholt, then a member of the Northfield City Council, questioned the skateboard prohibition, and the mayor, Jerry Anderson, brought up the possibility of building a city skateboard park.

That was in 1989.

Fast forward to 2006. A group of young skateboarders, mostly sixteen- and seventeen-year olds, formed the Northfield Skateboard Coalition. Their mission was to raise money to build a permanent skateboard park in Northfield. Within a year, the Skateboard Coalition had secured and matched a $10,000 grant from the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative, and hoped to move forward with construction of a skateboard park in Old Memorial Park near the municipal outdoor swimming pool.

Fast forward again to 2014. Fast forward, but keep in mind that for the youth involved, the process over the past eight years has moved in agonizing slow motion. The youth who founded the Skateboard Coalition in 2006 have all grown up—with college degrees, and jobs, and some with children of their own—and another generation of skateboarders has inherited their effort to create a skateboard park. After several years of inaction, the Northfield City Council in December 2012 approved Old Memorial Park as the site of the skateboard park, and allocated $60,000 toward the design and construction of the park. Now there's another $50,000 to be raised.

Though I've never skateboarded, I became involved with the Skateboard Coalition in early 2012. Amy Merritt, then the executive director of The Key (Northfield’s youth center), knew she would soon be moving on to other opportunities, and wanted to make sure there was another adult working with the Coalition. At the time, the Coalition was under the capable and dynamic leadership of Frank Meyer, a high school senior and non-skateboarder who was instrumental in securing a site for the skateboard park. In April 2013, Frank and the other youth members of the Skateboard Coalition were awarded the Making a Difference Award from the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative for their efforts on behalf of youth in the Northfield community. Throughout the years, the skateboarders have been models of civility and public engagement, attending numerous city meetings, respectfully advocating for their cause, and earning the respect of City officials and staff, neighbors, and members of the community at large.

Members of the Skateboard Coalition receiving the Northfield HCI Making a Difference Award in 2013

Skateboarding provides young people with opportunities to participate in a demanding and rewarding physical activity, encourages healthy behaviors, and provides a sense of place and of belonging to a community. A skateboard park will provide a public place for skateboarders to practice their skills that is safer and less disruptive than streets and sidewalks. A skateboard park will serve the recreational needs of a population of youth not currently served by the City’s recreational facilities. Finally, a skateboard park will be a valuable investment in Northfield’s youth, and a recognition of the involvement of youth in the process of building and strengthening our community.

It’s been twenty-five years since the possibility of creating a skateboard park in Northfield was first raised. Temporary skateboard parks have come and gone, but the city is still without a permanent park, despite years of hard work on the part of local skateboarders and their supporters. We’re closer than we’ve ever come to getting a skateboard park. You can help finally make that dream a reality. I hope you’ll join me in supporting the Northfield Skateboard Coalition.

by Rob Hardy