Skaters rally to renovate skate park

Julia Cherner

It’s 3 p.m. on a sunny Thursday afternoon at the Corte Madera skate park. There are about 15 people in the small park with more walking in every few minutes, their skateboards in hand.

Although students spend time enjoying the Corte Madera Skatepark, many of them agree that both the Corte Madera and Mill Valley skate parks need to be renovated.

SOPHOMORE KARL TIETZE skates at Corte Madera Park.
SOPHOMORE KARL TIETZE skates at Corte Madera Park.

“I think a nicer skate park in Southern Marin would keep kids off the streets and give them something to express their own creativity,” said junior Bryce Alexander. “It would be nice because Southern Marin does have the money to build a facility like that.”

Students often compare the two Southern Marin skate parks to the San Rafael, Novato and Fremont ones, which are much larger and more advanced.

“The Mill Valley and Corte Madera parks are not even close to as good as the Novato or Fremont parks because of their bad concrete and small metal ramps,” said Junior Thaddeus Hassel.

However according to the local governments, in order to start the process of renovations or even building a new park, they need to see more organized interest.

“It’s all about having the ability to have a group of people be very persistent and know how to come to public meetings and talk about stuff,” said The City of Mill Valley Operations Superintendent Denise Andrews. “We don’t have anybody coming to our community council meetings and saying we really want to work on improving the skate park. Government responds to what people want, really. Especially at a local level.”

Andrews went on to say that although there may be interest in building a new skate park in Mill Valley, they haven’t seen enough.

“One issue is that the city of Mill Valley doesn’t own the existing property the skate park is on, that property belongs to the Mill Valley School District,” Andrews later noted.

Many students have agreed that they would get involved with the government on this issue and some have already done so.

SOPHOMORE MICHAEL GONZALES grinds on a rail in Corte Madera's skate park.
SOPHOMORE MICHAEL GONZALES grinds on a rail in Corte Madera’s skate park.

Senior Cody Blanc got involved with the Corte Madera Parks and Recreation Department. “I was in the Parks and Rec and we were going to start a project of creating a new park in Corte Madera but the person I worked with was already working on another project and so he couldn’t fund for the skate park and another project. But hopefully when he gets in touch with me again we can make it happen,” he said.

Regardless, students still do use the local parks as they are very accessible.

“I go to Corte Madera most often because it is really close to school and it’s not like it’s bad or anything but it’s definitely not as good as San Rafael or Novato. It’s a cool place to just skate with people and there’s a good community there,” said Karl Tietze, sophomore.