Dripping Springs greenlights funding agreement for skate park

A proposed 12,000-square foot, $450,000 park could soon bring western Hays County skateboarders together one kickflip and ollie at a time.

On May 14, Dripping Springs city leaders and DS Skatepark Inc., a local nonprofit, entered into a donation agreement that would allow the latter to fundraise to create the park. This agreement was a key component of the park’s conception.

Once the park is built and completed via the private funding and fundraising initiative, it will then be donated to the city, which would be responsible for its maintenance.

“We have kids all throughout Dripping Springs skating in their neighborhoods and with their friends,” said Dennis Baldwin, one of the masterminds of Dripping Springs Skatepark Inc. “Now we just have to bring those kids together in one place to continue the skate culture.”

DS Skatepark Inc. officials said they will begin fundraising for the park and will have a completed concept blueprint by the end of the year.

Eric Henline, a commissioner on the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission, said the project has been five years in the making; the park is expected to open within the next three years. 

But for now, skaters in Dripping Springs can still enjoy their craft on Wednesday nights, when Baldwin teaches skate classes at Dripping Springs Ranch Park. 

“I’ve never skated in my life, but I put my son in those classes and he learned to skate in a week,” Henline said. “Ever since then, I knew we had to give these kids a home. I saw the value skating gave to someone who didn’t fit into the typical school athletics model.”

For Baldwin, skating has been a part of his entire life, molding friendships from across the state with people who are passionate about skating. Now, he wants to share that ethos with the youth of Dripping Springs. 

“It brings people together,” Baldwin said. “And for those kids who never liked sports, skating is a way for them to feel accepted and challenged. It’s all about community.” 

Pints for skaters
June will kick off key fundraising events for the park. One fundraiser will allow artists to create masterpieces on a blank skateboard. 

“We’ve had 150 blank decks that have been sent to artists to create amazing pieces of art that will be auctioned in late June,” Baldwin said. “We’ve just been blown away by the pieces people are creating and the amount of passion that is going in the decks.”

Local brewing companies have also partnered with DS Skatepark Inc. to help support the creation of the park. Real Ale Brewing Company is crafting a new beer, “The Goofy Foot,” named after a style of skating where the rider pedals with his/her left foot while the right foot is planted on the board.

“In the skate world, there are a lot of collaborations between skate companies and apparel brands, and that’s the idea here, too,” Baldwin said. “We’ve been humbled by the people who want to see this park built, and we’re going to work hard to make sure we can make that happen.” 

FUNDRAISING INITIATIVES
On June 8, the Shady Llama in Wimberley will donate $1 to the park for every Goofy Foot purchased from noon to 3 p.m. On June 14, the Barber Shop in Dripping Springs will also host the same event.

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