Stop the Demolition of the Boone DIY Skate Spot

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Petition to Save Boone’s DIY Skate-Spot:

 On April 20th, local skateboarders were informed by a Watauga County maintenance worker that Boone’s Do-It-Yourself skatepark, located at the old abandoned Watauga High School and constructed with funding and labor that came directly from skateboarders themselves, was getting demolished due to complaints from the softball crowd of some vulgar and obscene graffiti.  This motion is both a costly and unnecessary expense to the town and a heavy blow to the Boone skateboard community that we have worked for years to establish. 

Skateboarding has been illegal in Boone for almost two decades. Riding a skateboard along the town sidewalks can result in a $50 citation. A student who rides a skateboard on ASU's campus can expect to get sent to student conduct where he or she will face a penalty such as community service. Aside from the greenways, which are not all that attractive to skateboarders due to the lack of obstacles, and the Recess skate shop ramp, there is no where in town to legally practice our choice of recreation. The Recess ramp is great, but its just one piece out of a full skatepark. The diversity of skateboarding as a whole calls for a wider array of obstacles and terrain.The closest skatepark is an hour and a half round trip, which is inconvenient for full time students that also work part time jobs.  So we, as skateboarders, have taken it upon ourselves to create a fully functional skateboard facility that is away from all the places people do not want us yet also conveniently close to town. The skate-spot is located on a small portion of “abandoned” property, which is completely run down and not exactly being used for anything better, until it gets sold. You’ve heard the saying, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” Such is the case with this current situation.

However, it’s not just the skateboarders who like to use this abandoned property. The people of Boone still use the fields for their children to practice softball. Residents from near-by apartments come and exercise on the remnants of the track/football field and come to walk their dogs. Show up there on any given beautiful day and you will see people using the land. With softball fields, a track, open fields, and even a skatepark, this area basically functions as an open public park although everybody who goes there is technically trespassing and could get fined and/or arrested. The people of Boone have turned an old unused abandoned piece of land into a positive place for the community to go to without any permission or help from the town itself.

Nonetheless, a recent incident of some vulgar graffiti has brought about a negative image of both the land and the skateboarders who enjoy using it. This is the one of the few places in Boone skateboarders can come freely skate for recreation; it is very near and dear to our hearts. We understand that the spot will not last forever.  However, skateboarders would like to continue to use this section of the land for the time being. We realize that we are here without permission; so therefore we do our best to take care of the land by scheduling regular clean ups, marking out the obscene graffiti, and doing our best to kick out anybody who would ruin this spot for us. The skateboarders do not support or welcome any form of vandalism on this property, yet we are receiving the blame for it. The vandals are a separate entity; they are not us; they do not care for the spot whatsoever. If the skate spot gets demolished by the town, it will be a colossal waste of money because it will not solve the vandalism problem; as the vandals will proceed to spray paint other sections of the property. This move would also bring a sweeping blow to the local community. Please, consider an alternative solution. We, the skateboard community as a whole, are 100% willing to negotiate and work out any solution that would seem fitting and beneficial for each party involved including the town, law enforcement, the softball folks, and the skate scene. Thank-you for taking the time to hear our case.

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