By: John Evans
For 30 months a crew of volunteers have been building the Harrison Street DIY skate park in an abandoned cul de sac in Kansas City’s Columbus Park Neighborhood, at 4th and Harrison.
What started out as a few bags of Quickcrete, mixed with shovels and formed into ramps on a few jersey barriers turned into yard after yard of truck-delivered commercial ready-mix concrete. These guys built ramps, a pool, quarter pipe and at least a half-dozen other custom-designed skatepark features.
All the labor was volunteer. Not just the labor to build the park either. The neighborhood pitched in by advocating for them, helping work with the city and media, and eventually getting approval for this space.
The story of how this skate spot got to this point is the story of how the skaters and the neighborhood banded together. How took up our elected leaders on decades-old challenge to cooperate and build the community they want to live in.
It’s also the story of how this privately-funded, volunteer-built, amenity has earned the social capital to affect development plans for Columbus Park and lay down the marker for other neighborhoods in Kansas City to affect development in their own community.
Today’s thing is the Harrison Street DIY Skatepark, and this episode is “Breakin’ Rocks in the Hot Sun.”