Youth center hopes for funding for skate or bike park in underserved area

David Briggs
Members of the Tomales Bay Youth Center's mountain biking club usually ride in the Inverness watershed, but they are also hoping for a pump track to practice closer to West Marin School. The youth center has started a peitition to build a bike or skate park in Point Reyes Station, an area identified by the state as critically underserved. Read our story on page 2.  
04/07/2021

Young bikers and skaters in Point Reyes Station are petitioning for a park where they could safely practice and hang out. The California Statewide Park Program identified the area as a critically underserved community in 2018, a designation that allows for competitive grant funding under Proposition 68. Now, Madeline Hope, the director of the Tomales Bay Youth Center, is hoping to capitalize on the opportunity. “We’d like to make a case for young people getting some additional places to be that aren’t being elbowed out by the visitor population, or traffic, or all these other competing stresses,” she said. “The spirit of this petition is to say that kids want to be in the community, they just want to figure out how.” The youth center started running both a bike club and a skate club a few years ago after overturning West Marin School’s no-wheels policy. While the clubs are popular, they are limited in what they can do. Bikers ride the trails in the Inverness watershed, and skaters use portable ramps and the blacktop at West Marin School. The nearest pump track is in Novato and the nearest skatepark is in Bolinas; that park could serve as a model for Point Reyes Station, Ms. Hope said. She hasn’t identified a location for a park, but easy access from West Marin School is important. Local skaters are excited about the idea. Eduardo Romo, a Tomales High graduate, said he finds that it’s easy to get sucked into substance use when there isn’t much to do, and skating in the streets isn’t safe, either. Multiple skaters have wiped out and been injured on the hill headed south from the school. Supervisor Dennis Rodoni said he supports the idea, though finding a location, along with securing funding and maintaining a park, present challenges. To learn more about the petition, which has garnered 400 signatures, go to change.org/p/marin-county-parks-and-open-space-a-dedicated-space-for-young-people-to-skate-and-bike-safely-in-point-reyes-station.