Houston Parks and Recreation Department staff from the Gulfton Skatepark at Burnett Bayland Park received the Reach Award from the Houston-Galveston Area Council. The award acknowledges the teens, local organization and elected officials who helped build a safe place for community members to skate.
In 2012, a group of teens in the Gulfton community, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country, wanted to build a skatepark in their community so everyone could have a safe place to skate locally. The group, aided by the local Baker Ripley organization, reached out to their city councilmember and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD) with an idea to build a skatepark at Burnett Bayland Park.
Thanks to the efforts of the teens, along with partners at Clark Condon, the City of Houston, HPARD, Baker Ripley, and the Tony Hawk Foundation Skatepark Grant program, the $1.1 million, 17,500-square-foot, in-ground skatepark opened in 2017. The teens, some now adults, help maintain the park by picking up trash and providing skate lessons to community members.
“The park draws people from all over Houston, as well as different countries from around the world, but the biggest impact was in giving this teen population a voice and watching what they accomplished,” Condon said.