By Megan Wehring
DRIPPING SPRINGS – Skaters in Dripping Springs will be doing kickflips soon.
The city of Dripping Springs is entering into an interlocal agreement with Hays County and the Dripping Springs Community Foundation, with coordination from the Dripping Springs Skate Park Initiative, to fund the construction of a regional skate park at Founders Memorial Park.
The Dripping Springs City Council first approved the skate park proposal in 2017 and then entered into a license agreement in 2019, allowing for construction at Founders Memorial Park. On June 7, 2022, the council approved an extension of the license agreement – requiring that all funding of the construction for the skate park is to be completed within two years.
“Originally, when we set out to design and build the skatepark in 2015, the estimated cost was around $550,000,” said Dennis Baldwin of the Dripping Springs Skate Park Initiative. “Due to increased labor and material costs coming out of the pandemic, we are now estimating a project cost of $900,000. In addition to rising costs, the Dripping Springs community has grown significantly over the past five years and we want to build a park that is an attraction for skaters near and far.”
Through park bonds, Hays County is providing $624,250 in funding to the Dripping Springs Community Foundation for construction costs – however, the county did ask that donation funds be used prior to county-issued funds. The foundation will then distribute funds to the Dripping Springs Skate Park Initiative, who will be responsible for design and manage construction.
Baldwin said that between the funds the nonprofit has raised and the Hays County park bond funding, they are sitting at $725,000.
“We are beginning conversations with the city to contribute $150,000 to the project, which was recently included in the Dripping Springs Parks budget,” Baldwin said. “The budget will go to the city council in July for review and approval. We are excited about the progress we’ve made and look forward to breaking ground later this year.”
While many locations were reviewed over the years, Founders Memorial Park is the most ideal. It has existing infrastructure including water, bathrooms and parking.
“Now that many years have passed, this decision has been reinforced by the amount of growth that has happened around Founders Memorial Park,” Baldwin stated. “Several subdivisions have been built, the farmers market is thriving, and Founders now sits in the epicenter of town. This project will become a much needed attraction for our community to gather, recreate and challenge themselves at a beautiful, plaza-style skatepark.
Once the skate park in Dripping Springs is built, it will be one of few in the county.
“To the best of my knowledge the DS Skatepark will be the 3rd in Hays County,” Baldwin said. “San Marcos and Buda have parks, but there isn’t anything in northern Hays County. Years ago, we presented to the city council and showed there was a geographic need for a skatepark in our town. The closest parks to Dripping Springs, outside of Hays County, are Johnson City and Lakeway. We have been working for several years to design and build a regional park that will become a destination.”
“Skateboarding has become a dying sport. Bringing the park to Dripping Springs will give users something to do without schedule or fee,” Baldwin explained, “while also providing physical/mental benefits and life lessons.”
“For me, the number one trait that skaters learn is perseverance,” Baldwin said. “The number of times you will fall down to learn a new trick can be quite frustrating and intimidating. Overcoming these fears will lead to an amazing sense of accomplishment. I believe it’s important for our kids (adults, too) to realize that failure is inevitable. It’s how we handle failure that can help shape who we become. Get up, brush yourself off, and give it another try.”