Drizzle didn't dampen Skatepark opening

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
After more than a decade of effort, the Mount Shasta Skatepark opened Oct. 23 at Shastice Park. To the cheers of skaters, the symbolic ribbon cutting was performed with the fund raising sign chainsawed in half. Sean and Yvonne Malee hold the sign. The pair were instrumental in guiding the project through its final years.

After more than a decade of dreaming, a large crowd braved the drizzle Saturday to celebrate the opening of the Mount Shasta Community Skatepark.

Though the day was windy and wet, youth and adults alike donned their helmets and braved the elements to get a few runs in on the new state of the art facility.  

Mount Shasta Recreation and Parks director Mike Rodriguez was present as project organizers Yvonne and Sean Malee and Chad Lancour breathed a sign of relief to see the culmination of nine years of work as they handed the facility over to MSRPD.  

The fund-raising sign was cut in half with a chainsaw as the official ribbon cutting ceremony.

Bands including The Lottery, Stereotype, RS2 Solid Gold, Work, and Piles provided music underneath a large tent rented by the skatepark committee, and Doughslingers cranked out wood fire pizza for hungry skaters.

“Everything’s super smooth,” said 21 year old Jesse Womack from Mount Shasta, who has been skating since he was 14. “It’s totally unique... I’ve never seen one like this. It has good transitions, nice big pools, some  great street features and I like how they incorporated the rocks,” he said.

“I’ll be here every chance I get,” said Mount Shasta’s Ty Parks, who has been skating for 25 years. “This is one of the best things that’s ever happened for kids and grownups who are still kids at heart.”

Mount Shasta’s Cory Bradley said he thinks the park is “ten times sicker” than other local parks, and is excited to see the park finally open after so much anticipation.

The road to a completed skatepark was long. Project leader Yvonne Malee started in 2001 with a small group of youth, Jesse Collens, Sim Newman, and others, who dreamed of having a skateboard park in their town. The completely privately funded grassroots community effort grew as every sector of the community contributed what they could.  

In 2002 MSSP joined Associated Charitable Resources of the Southern Siskiyous to gain non-profit status and local grants and contributions helped the group prepare for the big push.  

In 2005, Lancour joined the project and supplied the organizational and grant writing skills to make the skatepark a reality.  

Good fortune and research connected the group with Wally Hollyday who, along with his all-skater crew, “turned the dreams and efforts into one of the finest small town skateparks in all of northern California,” said Sean Malee.

Yvonne stressed that calling the park a community skatepark means much more than just location.

“This is a true community effort in valuing individuals, partnering with the MSRPD and support by local business, organizations, skaters, parents and citizens all working together to create. We want to express special appreciation to Mike Rodriguez in his unwavering support and trust to assist us to bring this project to Shastice Park,” Yvonne said.

Red Bluff’s Logan Marshall, 8, showed off his moves during the opening celebration of the Mount Shasta Community Skatepark on Saturday afternoon. Logan has been skateboarding since he was four years old, and has been competing for about two of them, he said.