With the guidance of adult mentors, a growing working group of Questa youth are leading an effort to create a skatepark in their village. This project will entail choosing a site for the park (the Youth and Family Center is the likely location), collaborating with professionals on a design, raising funds for construction, and hopefully soon, cutting the ribbon on a finished product
It is not commonly known how powerfully skateparks can impact the fortunes of a small town. For one thing, skateparks are simply another fun activity center where youth of all ages can go to not only skateboard, but roller skate and ride their bikes. Skateparks carry the same magnetic draw of ski areas; through a variety of means—paid marketing, social media, or word of mouth—avid skateboarders keep bucket lists of parks they would like to visit before they die. Boarding fanatics even travel out of state to skate, to visit parks of their dreams. Parents plan vacations where their children will encounter diverse and healthy entertainment. A Questa skatepark would be yet another tourism magnet in Taos County’s plethora of recreation opportunities.
To date, the skatepark working group has submitted several grant proposals for either design or construction funding. These proposals have been rejected, though with a caveat of encouragement that although Questa’s idea is well worth funding, the necessary planning components have yet to be organized.
To that end, the working group is poring through a list of qualified skatepark building contractors to develop a preliminary design, which the contractors can expand into a well-built and durable project. The working group must also secure a formal resolution of support from the Village of Questa governing body, at which point more funding proposals can be drafted and submitted.
The group is also discussing creative ways that kids can celebrate their skatepark in art, writing, even recording the journey (video and social media) from idea to finished product. New Mexico State Representative Kristina Ortez has offered to help secure state funding if the opportunity arises. Axie Navas, who leads the State Outdoor Economy Division, has also expressed interest.
Although a skatepark in Questa would be a draw for out-of-town tourists to the Questa area, its most important impact will be on the youth of this beautiful village. Not only is skating an exciting way to get outdoors and move the body, a skatepark will be a physical space that kids can call their own. Skating is a chance for Questa’s kids to support and mentor each other. It’s a creative sport, both in the tricks the kids can do and in the artwork that’s being proposed for the surrounding grounds, perhaps depicting the outdoor treasures unique to the village.
The skatepark is something the entire village should support, as a place where its youth can go to have fun, but also as a monument to kids’ leadership and vision.