By Mary O’KEEFE
One of the stories we covered from the beginning, and continue to cover, was the concept and construction of the Crescenta Valley Skate Park.
The idea for the park began in 2010 with a group of teenagers that were part of the newly-opened Fire House youth center. The teens were skaters and were tired of being stereotyped as “bad kids” simply because they wanted to skate. The problem was they were skating in parking lots and church courtyards, like St. Luke’s of the Mountains where the Fire House was located. At times the skaters would do some damage to locations or cause traffic trouble as they skated down the street. But they had no place else to skate. There was a skate park in Glendale but because many of the teens were too young to drive it was difficult to get to that park. So they decided to do something about it. Led by Cooper Ivens, along with friends Corbin Southworth and Austin Seo, they formed a skaters committee and began looking for a solution.
They reached out to community leaders and officials of Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation. They began talking about building a skate park in CV Park. They met with parks and rec officials on a regular basis. The kids went to skate parks in LA and Ventura counties and took photos. They then returned to the committee and created their “ideal” skate park that did not have bowls but steps and rails, something they wanted. They also wanted a place for parents and friends to sit.
Their ideas came together with a parks and rec designer. In the meantime then-LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich was able to find funds to get the skate park built. It was constructed in the area the kids had chosen near the park’s baseball field.
“It still feels unreal, I can’t believe it has finally happened,” Ivens said during the official opening of the skate park a few years ago.
At that same opening, Antonvich added, “I’m very pleased that we’re able to put an idea that a student had into actuality. Now we have a park and it’s an encouragement to other people who have ideas to communicate with their elected officials and their community groups because from that we can improve our communities, not just in La Crescenta but throughout the state and the nation.”
The CV Skate Park was created by skaters for skaters and continues today to be a popular place for skaters and scooter riders.
“This is your idea and your classmates’ and you’re seeing what you’re doing not just for yourself and your friends. You have the elementary schools, the middle school, the high school, the neighboring schools that are involved in this great community,” Antonovich said. “They’re going to be utilizing [this skate park] because you took the time to submit a letter and submit an idea.”