Skate park moves forward, donations needed

FALLBROOK – A skate park in Fallbrook has been a long time coming. Despite what was written in the June 6 edition of the Fallbrook Village News, there is still a ways to go before it becomes a reality.

Fallbrook Skatepark, Inc was founded in 2003 by Jack Buettner and became a non-profit organization in early 2004. When Buettner passed away shortly thereafter, other board members stepped up to keep his dream alive.

Early efforts of this group were focused on building a skate park at Ingold field. Several factors prevented this dedicated group from achieving their goal and their last attempt died when Fallbrook economically struggled after the fires of October 2007.

In early 2008 a youth initiative, started by St. Peter’s Catholic Church and Faith in Action, identified areas of need pertaining to the youth of Fallbrook. One the four needs identified was a skate park. In 2009, Project Skate Safe grew out of the initiative and later merged with Fallbrook Skatepark Inc. (FSI). By July 2010, a new board was voted in headed by new president Roger Harrell. Harrell, a 15-year veteran of the skateboard industry and former publisher of Skateboarder Magazine had a wealth of knowledge about skate park development and with the board’s help devised a new strategy to accomplish the goals of the organization.

The new group revived the non-profit organization just in time to sign an agreement with the Boys & Girls Club of North County in October 2010 to host a temporary, above ground skate park on the club’s basketball court. “We were really excited about that,” said Michelle Albanna, FSI CFO/secretary, “but for us we knew it would only be temporary and while providing a safe place to skate, was only a first step toward our larger goal of a permanent county skate park.” After one year, the temporary skate park was closed so that the organization’s efforts and funds could be concentrated on a more challenging permanent facility that would allow skateboarders of all ages a safe place to skate.

“The idea of a skate park rarely gets anybody excited other skateboarders,” said Harrell, “and we knew in order to be successful we needed to get the community excited. So we came up with the idea of a skateable art project called the Avocado Bowl.”

In early 2012, FSI presented the “Avocado Bowl” skateable art concept at a CSA 81 meeting but the project had little hope with no suitable county site location identified. Exiting the meeting, dialogue began between Harrell and Vince Ross, president of Fallbrook Village Association, who was interested in the concept and suggested that perhaps it could be built at Jackie Heyneman Park. After several site visits and meetings with key stake holders, the Village Association officially voted and passed the proposal to allow FSI to build the Avocado Bowl in their downtown park in March of this year.

Now with a viable location and the backing of the Fallbrook Village Association, FSI continued to attend monthly County Service (CSA) 81 meetings, presenting cost estimates for the project from world renowned skate park builders Grindline Skateparks. The project is estimated to cost upwards of $130,000. Finding merit in the project, CSA 81 voted and passed a motion at their April 18 meeting to give FSI “matching funds” up to the amount of $125,000 to build the skate park. This means that Fallbrook Skatepark Inc is expected to raise the capital or find in-kind donations of materials, equipment and labor from the community before the CSA 81 funds are freed up. In addition they are requiring additional monies be set aside for annual maintenance, upkeep and the portable toilets which FSI had committed to supply.

At the May 28 Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce meeting, its board of directors unanimously agreed to endorse plans for Fallbrook’s first skate spot in the form of the Avocado Bowl at the Jackie Heyneman Park. “It’s very important for the chamber to take the leadership position we have earned and formally endorse the skate park,” said Charlie Wolk, Chamber board member. “We don’t have to monitor it; we just have to endorse it. Having the chamber’s endorsement will get other community leaders to support the park. I think $125,000-$130,000 is not really much money for recreational activities for people in the community.”

“Fallbrook has a unique opportunity to build a skate spot that will actually be tied to the community’s heritage. Avocado farming has been in this region for over a 100 years and this skateable art project will be enjoyed not only by the skaters but by the residents and tourist alike,” said Harrell.

Fallbrook Skatepark Inc. is a nonprofit 501.3c organization that would like to hear from those who can donate money, services, materials or equipment to see this dream become a reality. They can be reached at (760) 728-1919 or at [email protected]

19 Responses to "Skate park moves forward, donations needed"

  1. finally   June 13, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I support this endeavor 100%. It is about time that Fallbrook had a safe activity for our youth. I hope they are able to get the funds needed to make this happen.

  2. VN Reader   June 13, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Just please don’t put it anywhere within a close distance of my house. What a disaster that would be!

  3. Seriously   June 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    I think it would be a great idea to have a skate park, at least the kids would have some place to skate besides the sidewalks and the street!! I almost hit a kid yesterday on Potter St., he was zig zagging down the road without bothering to look left or right, had his ear phones on and his head up… er… in the clouds… without a care in the world.

  4. JM   June 13, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Skatepark builders, I strongly urge for a street section of the park or the all those skaters that run around town will continue to do so. Heck you could even "recreate" some of the popular spots such as the Albertsons dock or Potter’s 3 block. Vert will attract skaters but without a street section, kids will continue to skate in town

  5. JM   June 13, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Also, you should consider attempting to get into contact with Tony Hawk’s skatepark organization, or any of the major skaters of the 80’s. They all lived in Fallbrook and for awhile and Fallbrook was the epicenter of skating at the time. Im sure you could get one of them to help put with donations.

  6. Excuse Me   June 13, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    The proposed location of this skate park is no where near any residential housing. Its business all around. In that area you are going to have more graffiti than skating.

  7. @Excuseme   June 14, 2013 at 10:21 am

    You can still skateboard over the graffiti and it ends up looking better than just a gray concrete park

  8. grunt   June 14, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I never skateboarded, but figured over time the skateboards would grow up and then we would have adults recognize the activity as a a good form of recreation and exercise. Like some have suggested, have areas for different skill levels, lights for night use and let the kids enjoy!

  9. Lisa C.   June 15, 2013 at 7:12 am

    I think it’s great!!!!!! Finally!!!!

  10. Fallbrookian   June 16, 2013 at 1:21 am

    Finally! Just make certain you have an awesome street type of skating area. That is critical for the success of a park.

  11. back in the day skater   June 16, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Yes, please put a "street section". Many of us that used to skate back in our high school years (mid 90s), that is all we did, street skate. Yes, I’m sure there are many vert skaters, but please be sure to put in a street section, as I believe most of the skaters that will skate there will be street.

  12. Fallbrook Mom   June 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    As a former skater and mother of two boys I am glad that they are at least considering adding a skate park. Maybe the Angel Shop can make a donation to the kids. Skating is a fun, affordable outdoor activity . who wouldn’t want to be outside, this is Fallbrook after all!

  13. M.Miller   June 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    The Tony Hawk foundation did make a donation back when I was on the board, it was a small amount (1 or 2k) with the promise that if we showed more progress with location etc, they would look at funding more. I am no longer a part of the committee but I am so excited to see that the work we did for years was not in vain. Children should have a safe location to skate and Fallbrook is one of the only towns in the county that does not have one.

  14. 16yrs'oftalk&stillnopark   August 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Lived in FB since 95′ started skateboarding in 97′. There are so many things to consider when talking about a skate park. Many things that will either make or break the success of the park, as well as the town. Vista is a very good example of a failed skate park. It turned into a place that kids were afraid to go, for fear of being wrongly treated or sited by vista sheriff. Getting a ticket for not wearing protective gear is boguss. Helmets are the exception but elbow and knee pads never stopped bones from breaking. The only hinder movement, necessary for performing tricks. I don’t expect everyone to agree with what I’ve said or had to say. But 16yrs speaks for it’s self. The closest FB ever came to having a skate park was thanks to the Presbytarian Chr. However, failure to adopt a skate at your own risk clause, which would protect them from liability. Which is what everyone is worried about. Parents, property owners, schools, If you build a park with the RIGHT kind of rules that skaters and parents alike can agree with, you will have park that functions. If you build a bowl, your only catering to one genre of skater. A genre that has been dead in this town, since media’s beloved Tony Hawk left in the late 80’s…If you see the kids in the streets…what do you think they want to skate…kind of a no brainer. If this park is not approached in the correct manner it will be a waste of money and another back turned on the youth of this town…not every kind wants to play football, soccer, baseball, and all of that. You want them to be individuals who think for themselves, when there older…then no better way than something as individual as skateboarding. Its problem solving, it’s confidence building, and you get a raw taste of what REAL people are like in the world, especially when the disagree with how YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE. I have a 5yr and I’m lucky SHE love skateboarding as much as I do. I would like to take her to a FB skate park, before she reaches that, "Dad’s not cool any more" stage…

    THE KIDS NEED A LEGIT SKATEPARK, within their reach, a town that supports their sport and their alternative lifestyle.

  15. M. Vega   October 16, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    I’ll do labor and maintain the grounds for FREE!! Just get these kids off the streets and let them skate without being harrassed!!

  16. Anthony villa   June 18, 2015 at 12:14 am

    The skaters in fallbrook need a safe place to sk8. Thats y we need a skate park, there WE WONT GET TAZEDDD!

  17. Concerned Citizen   June 18, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Is the information in this article up-to-date?

    Awhile back the Village Association ended up not putting a skatepark at the Henneman site. Have they changed their minds? Are they back on board? That would be really nice. Mr. Moosa please let us know what you’re planning. Everyone would like to see this happen

    Also, it would be helpful to have reports from the county’s CSA-81 committee (our area in North County.) Roger Harrell is our representative. Then we would know what is going on.

    Has there been any thought about putting the skatepark in the Fallbrook Community Center park? That would be a good location as there are bathrooms, water, electricity there already. Also with the Community Center right there other sorts of programs for the teens could be started. Things like concerts, competitions, trips, etc.

    Please continue to keep us informed.

  18. Sarcastic   June 18, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Yes, I am sure this will not further invite a bad element into our community. This is EXACTLY where I want my tax dollars to go.

    How about we build this skatepark as far away from Fallbrook as possible? Like in Oceanside for example.

  19. Concerned Citizen   June 19, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Dear Mr. Sarcastic,

    There are already skateparks all over the county. They don’t appear to attract “bad elements” to their communities. They in fact are very good for law enforcement and our local sheriffs wants to see a skatepark built in the area. It provides youth activities and will is safer and easier to monitor by law enforcement. Skaters are not “bad elements”, they are kids. Most are really good people.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.