On September 23, local surf and skate shop Proof Lab hosted a fundraiser in conjunction with the Mill Valley Middle School (MVMS) 8th graders, Good Earth, Equator Coffee, and State Room Brewery. Families and friends gathered to celebrate and raise money for a new MVMS skate park. New ramps, railings, a place for shade, and an evenly cemented flooring will replace the current MVMS skate park. “The upgrade to the existing skatepark will hopefully take place in spring 2018,” according to Proof Lab’s website. “The size cannot be expanded at this point, but if we raise enough money the existing uneven and rough blacktop could be replaced with cement.”
Proof Lab’s fundraiser hosted “about 300 people… throughout the evening,” said Will Hutchinson, Co-founder of Proof Lab. “Proof Lab was willing to raise the money for the skaters of Marin largely because of the notion that Proof Lab is owned by skaters, who understand the struggle of a less than satisfying skate spot.” said junior Mac Castaneda, a local skater.
Many skaters at MVMS are excited about the installation. According to 8th Grader, Jake Moore, he was the one to propose the plan, bringing his idea to the Board of Parks and Recreation. “Me and my friends would joke around and be like, ‘It would be so cool to get a new skate park,’ and then I was like, oh wait, my dad’s on the Park’s and [Recreation Board], so maybe he could get us a presentation…. and then I asked my dad and he thought it was a great idea,” Moore said.
According to MVMS 8th grader, Calder Dorman Greene, parents are concerned about the skate park’s working condition, constantly complaining that children are getting burned on the metal ramps.
“They pretty much just threw a couple ramps in the parking lot,” Dorman Greene said of the … construction of the current MVMS park.
According to Moore and friends, the skaters of Marin have been banned practically everywhere. Many of them skate at Safeway, using the sidewalks and space to learn and practice tricks. “I love Safeway and all, but we always get screamed at, and my mom has gotten three emails already saying ‘No more skating at Safeway’ because stores there just don’t like it,” said Moore. He said that if his project is successful, students and skaters won’t have to revert to Safeway as a common skate ground.
Moore and other MVMS students have also created a Facebook page to publicize the idea of the new skate park. The page, titled, ‘Mill Valley Skate Park’ helps to provide information to the community on what the new layout could look like and the benefits it could provide to all the “shredders,” the nickname given to skaters.
Many parents around the community are also excited for the refinement of the skate park, frequently posting questions or enthusiastic comments, on the MVMS Facebook page, on when they can expect the project to begin.
Some of the comments on the page read: “Will this park include access for bikes?” asked Dan Jeffris, or “I agree with the idea of needing MUCH more coverage against the sun” said Laura Diecks. The awareness from the community is continuing helping to push this project into action.
Proof Labs fundraiser was able to raise $16,000, yet Moore and other skaters are still waiting to find out when they can expect the new ramps and railings to be installed. “I’m hoping that [this skate park] will get a lot more kids to start skating and satisfy all the kids here,” Moore said.