The Camas-Washougal Skate Park Renovation Project is expected to begin late summer or early fall. The revamp is exciting thanks to the sheer collaborative effort to make the project happen.
“The Camas-Washougal Skate Park Project is a community-driven project,” says Trang Lam, director for the City of Camas Parks and Recreation. “It’s a great partnership between the Camas Parks Foundation and the City to work on this project with active community members.”
Built in 2002 as a venture between the cities of Camas and Washougal, the only outdoor skate park in east Clark County featured an industrial street-style design with ramps, rails, picnic tables, a loading dock and stairs. Over the past 20 years, heavy use and Pacific Northwest weather eroded the skate park’s condition. And the evolution of the skating sport rendered skate park features outdated and less relevant.
The skate park was poised for a revamp after lifelong skater Tim Laidlaw and Camas resident advocated in 2017 for improvements. Laidlaw also wanted to see the surrounding green area of the skate park get a refresh to enhance the experience for the community further. His efforts attracted the attention of many other skateboarders and BMX-bikers also using the popular skate park. His advocacy led to support from area business owners and city officials.
“The updated design is much more exciting and is more for beginners, intermediate and advanced skateboarders,” shares Lam. “But it is not just about park features. It is also about how to improve the space.”
The project is also special because the skate park is between Camas and Washougal. “We have volunteers not affiliated with the city parks commission step up to help with the skate park,” says Cassi Marshall, vice president of the Camas Parks Foundation. “They are people with a passion for this project.”
While the City of Washougal is not currently involved with the project, Washougal community members continue to contribute to the success of the upgrades regularly. Lam explains many skate park supporters have held various fundraisers over the past several years to raise money for the revamp.
Camas-Washougal Skate Park: New Features Will Facilitate Skill Enhancement
Among the new features, an above-the-ground poured concrete bowl at the northeast end of the park will align with today’s skateboarding needs and standards, which include being able to withstand heavy use and rainy weather. The city unveiled the most recent poured-concrete design concept for the skate park remodel during the Camtown Youth Festival on June 4. “There will also be a keyhole entrance into the bowl,” explains Lam. “And the skaters that have seen it have liked that element.”
Skating is vital to many communities. A unique thing about skaters is when they hear about an excellent park, they come to check it out and skate in it. “Skaters have their own culture of wanting to try new parks,” explains Marshall. “We have ideas about how to boost skaters locally by having a multi-generational use aspect in the new park.”
This multi-use aspect means all ages of skate and bike enthusiasts can find something enjoyable while honing their skills in the new park. “The skate park allows you to practice there,” shares Lam, “and expand your skill set.”
Camas-Washougal Skate Park Fundraising Continues
Fundraising efforts for the skate park have rendered a little over $250,000. The City of Camas allocated $75,000 toward construction. “Phase I is about one-half of this,” says Lam. “We are really pushing to get through Phase I, and we are just $15,000 shy, but this does not account for donated materials.”
Donated and in-kind materials could reduce project costs and make it possible to do phases I and II. “Any donation, cash or materials, would help,” shares Lam. “We are close to Phase I and know we will get Phase I done.”
Materials needed include rebar, wood, fasteners, and concrete drainage, to name a few. You can find a list of needed materials, more information about the Camas-Washougal Skate Park Project, and pathways to donate money on The City of Camas Engage website.
There is a great appreciation to everyone who donated funding, materials, time, design input, and more to the Camas-Washougal Skate Park Revamp Project. “These are modest improvements that are being driven by the community, which is really exciting,” shares Lam spiritedly. To see all community members and businesses that participated in the skate park’s different phases, please visit Engage Camas.
The Camas-Washougal Skate Park, located at the Shepherd Road and Third Avenue intersection, by the Washougal River Greenway Trail, has so much potential to be a community gathering spot. Laidlaw shares that he hopes the park will see increased use by local skaters upon its completion. “I also hope it will encourage local skaters to understand that they can shape the future of the park by taking action and petitioning the city for change,” he adds.