If all goes according to plan, local skateboarders could see a long-awaited Camas-Washougal Skate Park revamp this fall.
“Ideally, the park would get built probably in September,” Camas Parks and Recreation Director Trang Lam told Camas Parks Commission members during a May 25 Commission meeting. “We will go to (the Camas City Council) probably in early August with the contract.”
The skate park revamp is something local skaters and skate park advocates have been slowly working toward since Washougal resident Tim Laidlaw, a lifelong skater now in his 50s who started skateboarding in the 1970s, when, as he told The Post-Record in 2018, “you had to be industrious … you had to clear the land if you wanted to skate,” kicked off the first park renovation efforts in November 2017.
A joint venture between the cities of Camas and Washougal built in 2002, the original skatepark featured elements of a street course, with ramps, rails, a picnic table, loading dock and stairs. Over the years, the park’s original skate elements began to succumb to heavy use and Pacific Northwest weather.
Laidlaw’s revamp efforts attracted the attention of other skateboarders and BMX-bikers who frequented the park near the border of Camas and Washougal — the only skatepark in East Clark County — and eventually garnered support from local business owners, skatepark designers and city officials.
The park’s supporters have held various fundraisers over the past few years to raise money for a poured-concrete skatepark design meant to withstand heavy use and rainy weather.
Local businesses, including Grains of Wrath, Liberty Theatre, LiveWell Camas, Yew Skateboards, CORE Industries and Nest & Love Photography in Camas; Lunchmoney Indoor Skatepark in Washougal; and Collective Concrete and Poler in Portland — as well as the Camas Parks Foundation and the Parks Foundation of Clark County — recently contributed to a monthlong fundraiser for the skatepark remodel that included a movie night at Liberty, an online silent auction and a demonstration and skateboard ramps/rails raffle at the recently Camtown Youth Festival.
As of May 25, Lam said, the skatepark fundraising efforts have collected around $100,000.
The Liberty Theatre’s movie night featuring “Bones Brigade: An Autobiography” by skateboarding legend Stacy Peralta on April 28, attracted nearly 100 movie-goers and raised close to $700. Fundraisers hope the “All Hands on Deck” silent auction, which closed on June 4, will add another $4,500 to the skatepark funds.
People can donate to the skatepark remodel efforts online at camasparksfoun dation.org/skatepark.
Fundraisers also will seek donated materials for the park revamp, including concrete, rebar and fencing, Lam said.
The city unveiled the most recent, poured-concrete design concept for the skatepark remodel during the Camtown Youth Festival on Saturday, June 4.
“The updated design is much more exciting,” Lam told Parks Commission members in May. “It is designed more for beginners and intermediate (skateboarders). We’re hoping the youth will youth will like the work.”