Des Moines Regional Skatepark Now Named Lauridsen Skatepark
GREATER DES MOINES, IOWA (April 4, 2018) – The regional skatepark taking shape in Greater Des Moines (DSM) will be called the Lauridsen Skatepark, the skatepark’s Campaign Cabinet announced today. The skatepark — planned to take shape along the Principal Riverwalk in Downtown DSM — is named after Nix and Virginia Lauridsen, who have gifted $1 million to the project from the Lauridsen Family Foundation.
The skatepark was originally proposed more than a decade ago after AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy) met with families across the region and asked them what was needed for local youth. The answer was clear — a large, world-class skatepark would greatly improve outdoor recreational opportunities for young people across the region from all types of backgrounds.
Now, after significant contributions, the $3.5 million skatepark is set to become a reality.
“Virginia and I are proud to contribute to a project that will promote recreation Downtown and continue the revitalization of the riverfront,” said Nix Lauridsen. “This skatepark will draw tens of thousands of people annually and major events, further adding to the vibrancy of the entire region.”
In addition to the Lauridsen family’s donation, a number of donors have contributed to the skatepark’s viability. Nearly $2.5 million has been raised. See the full list of donors who donated $5,000 or more below.
“This project has been many years in the making, and there is no way we could do it without the generous support of the community,” said Angela Connolly, a Polk County Supervisor and Campaign Co-Chair of the skatepark project. “We are thankful for the dedication of the Lauridsens and so many businesses and organizations that are committed to adding world-class amenities to the region.”
The Polk County Board of Supervisors has voted to manage construction of the skatepark, which will be located adjacent to the Rotary Riverwalk Park between Second Avenue and the Des Moines River. Two acres of land have been donated by the City of Des Moines for the project. The 65,000 square-foot skatepark would be one of the largest in the country and could attract around 40,000 visits from skaters each year.
“This is a great day for Downtown and the entire region,” said Christine Hensley, retired Des Moines City Council member and Campaign Co-Chair. “We know that there are youth and people of all ages who love to skate and will benefit from having this facility to use right in the heart of the city.”
Skateboarding is a fast-growing sport across the country and will become an Olympic sport in 2020. Once complete, the Lauridsen Skatepark will have the capacity to host demonstrations and competitions.
“Like many parents, I support providing our kids with more opportunities to put down their screens, go outside and be active," said Brad Anderson, Of Counsel at Precision Strategies and a Campaign Co-Chair. “Skateboarding builds character, fosters creativity and creates lifelong friendships. I am thankful to the visionary leaders in DSM, including the Lauridsen family, for making this project happen.”
The skatepark project is being called the linchpin to other riverfront projects, including a proposed adventure park along the Principal Riverwalk. The Greater Des Moines Water Trails and Greenways Master Plan led by the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization lays out a multi-year vision for activating the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers in Downtown DSM with water activities including opportunities for fishing, swimming, tubing, paddling, whitewater rafting and more. The skatepark will provide another option for visitors to the riverfront to engage with outdoor activities.
“As a former skater, I am excited to see another game-changing project take hold in DSM USA,” said Tiffany Tauscheck, Chief Strategy Officer at the Greater Des Moines Partnership and Skatepark Campaign Cabinet member. “This is one more example of hearing what our region needs to do to continue to build upon our momentum and taking action. This is further proof that if you have a good idea, you can make it happen in DSM USA.”
DSM residents and visitors who are supportive of the skatepark project can voice their support by adding their name to the skatepark’s website at DSMskatepark.com. Additionally, there is still an opportunity for individuals, businesses and organizations to donate to the skatepark project. Those interested should go to DSMskatepark.com or email Brad Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauridsen Family Foundation — Nix and Virginia Lauridsen
Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Leadership Circle — Catalyst Grant
Bankers Trust and The Ruan Foundation
Gartner Family Fund
McAninch Corporation — Doug McAninch
MidAmerican Energy Company
Wells Fargo & Co.
Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
Heart of America Group
Cultivating Compassion: The Dr. Richard Deming Foundation
EMC Insurance Companies
Dave and Trudy Holman Hurd Fund
William C. Knapp
Lohse Family Foundation
American Enterprise Group, Inc.
Register Media/Gannett Foundation
Greater Des Moines Partnership
Hubbell Realty Company
Iowa State Bank
Susan and Carl Voss
West Bank Foundation
Susan and Jake Christensen
Dickey and Campbell Law Firm, PLC
Eychaner Properties, Inc.
Jann Freed and John Fisher
Friends of Des Moines Parks
Jaey and Brenda Sedlacek Family Charitable Trust in honor of Aidan and Bode Conlan
Norm and Danielle Sterzenbach
Storey-Kenworthy Foundation for Giving
United Way of Central Iowa