One of the most exciting projects we’ve worked on recently is the renovation of our skate park at our El Cajon center on Broadway. For years the skate park has been an invaluable tool in reaching young people as it has drawn in youth from all over East County. In the last years it had fallen into disrepair and many of the skaters, bikers, and scooter riders who used to regularly attend the center stopped coming around. We began to work on a plan for rebuilding the park.
As we worked on a plan, we met a man named Mayo Mendoza. He currently oversees the skate park at the Clairemont YMCA and has been building skate parks professionally for over 20 years. During that time he has built parks for names such as Tony Hawk, Bob Burnquist, and the X-Games. As we talked with him not only did we discover that he shares our vision for reaching young people but he had even skated at our YV skate park some years before. We began to work with him on building the best skate park we have ever had.
What we got was way better than we could have imagined. Mayo and his team went above and beyond to build us a skate park that will attract kids to the center for many years. Their experience and expertise was evident in all of their work. Not only was the design of the skate park world-class, but the quality of the work will ensure that the ramps stays in good condition for many years.
On Saturday, January 30th of last year we had the grand opening of the new skate park. Between 150 and 200 young people showed up to ride the ramps. Many of them were there for the first time. As we asked kids how they heard of it nearly all of them said that a friend had invited them. From the moment the park was opened word began to spread throughout East County. Not only did many kids show up, but also several professional scooter riders and bikers showed up as well. The kids were thrilled to hang out with riders they looked up to, and universally everyone loved the way the park rode. We had a great day filled with high-flying tricks, a demo by the pros, and of course a full bbq. Since that day the park has consistently been full. Many of the kids who used to ride the park regularly have come back, and many new kids have begun attending the center. The new park has reopened another wonderful area of opportunity to minister to the kids of East County. We are very grateful to Mayo Mendoza and his team for the work they put in, and to all of our supporters for making this a reality.