A fundraiser to support the Camas-Washougal skatepark is set for 3 to 8 p.m., Friday, June 14, at Grains of Wrath Brewing in downtown Camas.
Billed as “an epic, all-ages fundraiser” by its hosts — Grains of Wrath along with Nest & Love Photography of Camas and the Portland-based skateboard distributor Unheard — the event will feature raffles, music by JAM’N 107.5 radio station and DJ RMP, an open “all ages, all abilities” street course as well as ollie and hippie jump contests for skateboarders, skateboard vendors, event T-shirts, craft brews and local food.
All proceeds will benefit Partners with Camas Parks and Rec, a volunteer group committed to improving facilities and services at Camas area parks and recreation areas.
The 12,500-square-foot Camas skatepark, located next to the Riverside Bowling Alley off Northeast Third Avenue and Shepherd Road, was built in the early 2000s as a joint venture between Camas and Washougal.
The only skatepark in East Clark County, it was built to be a “street course” with ramps, rails, picnic tables, a loading dock and stairs, but skateboarders say the park and its elements have deteriorated significantly over the last decade.
In 2018, local skateboarders received some good news: Camas city councilors had included two new parks maintenance workers as well as $75,000 to go toward “skatepark improvements” in the city’s proposed 2019-20 budget; and a Camas architecture firm reduced costs to help the skaters get mock-ups of potential park updates.
Tim Laidlaw, a lifelong skateboarder in his mid-50s and Washougal resident since 2005, started the skatepark renovation efforts in November 2017, forming a Facebook group called Riverside Bowl, hosting clean-up days at the park, speaking before city councils and parks commissions and rallying donations and supporters.
Jason Ferrier, of Lewallen Architecture in Camas, worked with Laidlaw’s group in 2018 to come up with a set of mock-up illustrations that show what the skatepark could someday look like. They plans call for a new concrete quarter pipe ringing the northeast corner of the park, as well as a concrete obstacle within the pipe.
Ferrier provided an early estimate of $150,000. Laidlaw has collected money through his group’s Facebook site, and has approached local service groups, like the Camas-Washougal Rotary Club, which helped build the original skatepark, seeking financial assistance.
Friday’s fundraiser at Grains of Wrath will add to the growing funds for the park’s renovations.
Ferrier told the Post-Record in October 2018 he sees potential in the scrappy skatepark.
“You’ve already got the groundwork done, by the shape and the existing concrete, you’ve just have to add this component to finish it off,” Ferrier said. “You look at the growth in this area — the amount of new apartments that are going in, the amount of people that are flooding into Clark County — the parks and the services should grow with that.”