You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 11:39 a.m.

Ann Arbor Skatepark group announces 'Brick Campaign' to raise funds for project

By Ryan J. Stanton

The Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark today announced a "Brick Campaign" to raise funds for the construction of a permanent skate park in Veterans Memorial Park.

In exchange for a financial contribution, a brick paver will be engraved with the donor’s name and a brief message, and incorporated into the construction of the amenity.

Three sizes are available at different giving levels.


The concept for the proposed Ann Arbor Skatepark. The city will issue an RFP for the actual design.

Courtesy of Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark

  • A 4-inch-by-8-inch brick is available for a $100 donation and allows for three lines of text with 12 characters each.
  • An 8-inch-by-8-inch brick can be had for $250 that allows for six lines of text with 12 characters each.
  • A 12-inch-by-12-inch brick is available for a $1,000 donation and allows for nine lines of text with 18 characters each or a business logo.

Scott Rosencrans, project liaison for the skate park group, said the brick campaign is a way donors can contribute to the project and receive tangible and permanent recognition.

Orders can be placed online at Order forms also are available at Acme Mercantile, 111 W. Liberty St., in Ann Arbor.

The Ann Arbor Skatepark initiative recently received a $25,000 donation from local entrepreneur Dug Song and his wife Linh.

The group is trying to raise $1 million. Washtenaw County's Parks and Recreation Commission has pledged up to $400,000 in matching funds if the group can raise other funds.

Diana Kern, treasurer and development chair, said in late August the group had raised more than $100,000 and was working to secure other funds.

So far, the city of Ann Arbor hasn't committed any funds directly to the project, but it did agree this year to help the skate park group apply for government grants. The city now is seeking $300,000 in grant funding from the state and expects to hear back by November.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.



Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:04 p.m.

I think this is a great idea for raising funds for the skatepark. This project has been on hold for way too long. My son and his friends have to go all the way to Brighton to use a skatepark sponsored by a church. Cannot believe a community like Ann Arbor has not gotten behind this project long ago. While it would be nice if residents would step up and purchase a brick, it would be even better if businesses in Ann Arbor would step up. My husband is a partner in a business here in AA and they are getting their checkbook out.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 11:56 a.m.

It is difficult to justify spending $1 million for a dedicated skateboard park that will be used only by a few. In the only study, done in 2005, it was determined that about 5% of children 13 to 17 years old used skateboards. That percentage translates into 250 to 500 youths. Add another 500 adults who may skateboard and the park will service less than 1% of Ann Arbor's population. Also, believing that skateboarding will be confined to a skateboard park is unrealistic. The skateboard will continue to be a mode of transportation about town. Also, for many skateboarders, the park may not be convenient when an enthusiast wants to use his skateboard, especially since most skateboarders are males under 18 years of age who may not easily get to the park. Furthermore, skateboarding is a dangerous activity that produces injuries (search YouTube for &quot;skate board injuries&quot;). Many skateboarders do not wear safety helmets or pads. A concrete and steel skateboard park with ramps that launch kids into the air will never achieve a Consumers Report safety achievement award. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons is so concerned that it published guidelines which should be followed by those sponsoring and maintaining the skateboard park (if built): <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Whoever owns and operates the skateboard park should be concerned about liability. Can liability insurance coverage be purchased for a skateboard park? For safety sake the park should be fenced and have a lockable gate. Hours of use should be restricted especially during school days and activities monitored by a trained supervisor. In this regard, who will pay for the supervision and also for the maintenance?


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

Many other communities have skateparks. Ludington has one in the city park at the beach. We've been there many times and it is rare to see a skatboarder without a helmut. You stated few kids skateboard. However, you could also look at the other side of that statement and say &quot;if you build it, they will come&quot;. As for the danger....Lacrosse, football and soccor all are dangerous sports, yet in AA kids are encouraged to participate with all three. Ann Arbor claims to be a progressive community, I find it hard to believe this project has not been completed long ago. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your comment.

Trevor Staples

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 11:59 p.m.

The PAC resolution that was unanimously passed by the Park Advisory Commission and City Council states the following: &quot;Whereas City staff and the Ann Arbor Skate Park Action Committee assure the Parks Advisory Commission of the necessity that any final design must meet storm water and other environmental requirements and both parties will make all possible efforts to exceed those.&quot; You can view the full resolution, as well as the minutes from that standing-room-only meeting here: <a href=",%20Line%20593%20_Disk_.pdf" rel='nofollow'>,%20Line%20593%20_Disk_.pdf</a>

Scott Rosencrans

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 10 p.m.

@Jack Eaton: Hi Jack. Thanks for the question. The two current millages that affect parks do not allow for the construction of new facilities. One can be used to buy land and the other can be used to maintain current facilities. We certainly would be open to parks funding if it were to be found, but times are tight. On the other hand, private philanthropy has been used for many public facilities quite successfully.

glenn thompson

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

The city spent $1.8 million to improve storm water management in West Park. <a href=""></a> Now it proposes to spend $1 million in Vets Park to pave nearly 1 acre and exacerbate the flooding problem. The upstream areas like Vets Park are the regions where storm water retention should occur before it reaches the flood areas near the Allen Creek drain. If the City follows its own storm water ordinances it will require more millions to to treat this additional impervious surface.

Jack Eaton

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

Ann Arbor property owners pay a greenbelt millage that includes money for park acquisition and maintenance within the City. So why are the skateboarders left panhandling to finance this improvement to one of our parks? If Council really supports this project, it should find the funding to get this done.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

is it art ?

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

Brick campaigns are sort of ugly (see Depot Town, Ypsilanti). Maybe, y'all should just pack it in and wait for the economy to pick up? Unless of course, this skatepark will be the first to be made entirely of brick?


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 4:05 p.m.

By the time this is built those kids will be middle-aged and something else will take over newer kids time to keep them entertained.

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

any idea on the timeframe for breaking ground for this?


Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 10:31 a.m.

So, why are their no corporate sponsors? The skatepark in Ludington is sponsored by Dow Chemical. Where's Google on this????? Other companies in AA?

Wolf's Bane

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:01 p.m.

Chris, 500K in two years without big corp. sponsorship? Good luck. Seriously, good luck.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 6:34 p.m.

Wookie, they need to raise a total of $600,000, based on the $400K match from the county. to get to the million dollar total. With $100K in hand, per the article, that leaves $500K to fundraise.

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 5:19 p.m.

Based on Ryan J. Stanton's listed deadline agreed upon by the City and the Friends of the Skatepark, I would bet NEVER. There is no way to raise 1.2 million dollars in 2 years. Not happening. Too bad really.

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

An agreement between the city and the skate park group from December 2008 states that construction must commence by Jan. 1, 2014, and the skate park group is responsible for raising all of the funds for the design, construction, operation and maintenance. I assume breaking ground is a step that will be taken when the money is lined up, and I know the Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark is hoping that's sooner rather than later.