It takes a community to build a skatepark

Via Telluride News By ELLEN. METRICK Staff Writer

In the middle of the March melt and snowstorms, a big change in a small corner of Norwood happened fairly quietly when county resident Todd Rector and a band of volunteers installed donated skatepark equipment, adding to the already existing Norwood Town Park skatepark site. 

The newly installed equipment was originally built by Craig Wasserman, owner of the Drop Zone in Telluride. It was in use at the Youth Link skatepark site in Telluride. Recently, however, the Town of Telluride approved an affordable housing project for the skatepark site. Telluride Parks and Recreation Commission also approved an expansion and remodel of the Telluride Town Park skate course, funded in part by the Town of Telluride, which will address the loss of the Youth Link site.

Rector said that when he heard the skatepark equipment was going to be removed and was available for relocation, he “kind of spearheaded the move to Norwood.”

Rector said he spoke with Amanda Pierce, Norwood’s town clerk, who agreed to accept the equipment. Rector said that members of the Town of Telluride, the Telluride Fire Department, San Miguel Search and Rescue, Ground Pounders, Telluride Tire and Fleet Services in Norwood all donated time and equipment to make the move happen. 

“The worst part was digging the equipment out of the ice and three feet of snow in Telluride,” said Rector. “Then we loaded them up with a forklift from Mike Kimball at Ground Pounders, brought them down to Norwood on Telluride Tire’s donated flatbed, and Ray Cossey met us with his forklift to place them on the pad at Town Park in Norwood.” He added, “They’re usable. They need some TLC. I rode the park on my BMX and the (donated equipment) is fine, but for a skateboard, there are some spots that need a little work.”

Local skater and artist Jonas Fahnestock agreed. He went over to ride his skateboard not long after the equipment was set up and said some things needed to be moved around. Fahnestock and his family have had a hand all along in the Norwood skatepark. 

Before the Town of Norwood had the existing equipment installed, Fahnestock, his brother Cisco, and their dad, the late John Fahnestock, built and donated a mini-ramp to the town’s skating space, a large concrete pad just southwest of the town hall. 

More skatepark equipment was installed in the fall of 2009 with funding from a Great Outdoors Colorado grant and from the Just For Kids Foundation in response to grant applications that Gretchen Wells, former Norwood town clerk, wrote.

In 2010, with funds from the same organizations, plus some help from Norwood Park and Recreation District, Norwood’s late Jon Sapp was able to install a waterproof "skin” on the mini-ramp to protect it from the elements. 

“Unfortunately, that mini-ramp we built was disassembled years ago now,” said Fahnestock. 

Sapp and other community members contributed countless volunteer hours to build the BMX park and skatepark. Now, continuing in the same tradition, said Rector, the park has grown again.

“It was done in a Sapp-like spirit. He was a good friend and on my mind a lot. I know how much he did for the biking community and kids in Norwood,” he said. 

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