EUGENE, Ore. — Construction at the Washington Jefferson Skatepark is nearly complete and the skating community is on board.
“I’ve been to Portland talking to kids in Portland. They all know about it. There’s a big Internet buzz going about it. It’s the largest covered, lit skate park in the nation, so there’s a lot going on with it. A lot of people know about it,” said Zane Wheeler, Riverhouse Outdoor Programmer.
Once the park opens, the city of Eugene plans to hold classes to teach kids how to skate, but it still needs the money to provide the services.
“The city of Eugene recreation program is going to be doing drop-in classes. They’re going to be doing skateboard competitions, skate camps. There’s also opportunities for scholarships. So some of the proceeds are going to go toward a variety of those programs,” said Colette Ramirez, Eugene Community Events Manager.
This weekend marked the start of fundraising efforts, and restaurants and stores all throughout town are chipping in to support the sport.
“Businesses from downtown, from the Fifth Street Public Market, and down to the Whiteaker all supporting this project. Connecting these downtown core areas,” said Ramirez.
Despite the heavy rain, skatepark supporters gathered at the Fifth Street Market for a kickoff party. Organizers said it’s a reminder that even in weather like this, kids will be able to use the covered skatepark.
“It’s great. It keeps the kids off the streets. It gives them something to do in the rain like it is today. Pouring down rain. It gives them a place to be, a place to go. It creates its own culture in a lot of ways, and it really helps to rejuvenate that area of town,” said Wheeler.