Avon skate park construction postponed as funding is pursued

Restrooms, seating wall, reconfiguration of park area to proceed as planned in east Nottingham Park

The Avon Skate Coalition is working to bring a skate park to Avon, tackling the project's $1.6 million price tag through grant applications and community fundraising.
Ben Roof/Special to the Daily

Wheel-sport enthusiasts will have to wait a little longer for a potential skate park in Avon.

Earlier this month, the Avon Skate Coalition, a grassroots organization created by Avon residents and skaters in 2021 to bring a skate park to Avon, received official notification that its application for $1 million in capital funding from the Colorado Health Foundation had been declined.

The total cost of the skate park, with a bowl and other terrain features, is currently estimated to be $1.6 million, all of which is meant to be funded through grants.

Without the Colorado Health Foundation funding, the project will be pushed back at least another year, with construction beginning no sooner than 2026, as skate park proponents and Avon town staff spend another year searching, raising and applying for funding.

“It’s definitely not ideal, because the young people that worked on my community design team, they’re growing up and leaving the valley to go to college, so they’re not getting to see the immediate reward of the work they put in,” said Amy Lewis, an Avon Skate Coalition leader. “But I try to help impart on them that this is a slow-moving, kind of bureaucratic process, and you just have to persevere and be patient and work together and then your project can come to life.”

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Skate park’s history

The Avon skate park has been billed as a community space designed to promote diversity, equity and inclusion through learning-progressive features and its central location in Avon. The Avon skate park is designed to be an all-wheel park for “anybody who loves to be on wheels,” including scooters, bikes, wheelchairs, skateboards and more, Lewis said. 

“It’s an outdoor space that is quite unique. It’s not like the other skate parks in the valley. It’s equitable and welcoming, and it’s in a really important and convenient space next to the bus stop,” Lewis said.

The current proposed location for the skate park in the southeast corner of Harry A. Nottingham Park.
Town of Avon/Courtesy photo

In 2022, the Avon Skate Coalition received a $25,000 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation to begin the process of planning the skate park as an equitably designed community space. The Avon Skate Coalition ran engagement from January through May 2023, and then brought the project to Town Council.

The Town Council approved the greater skate plaza plans in November after a large showing of support from community members at the Nov. 14 Town Council meeting. Since then, the skate park has been included as part of the greater East Nottingham Park Project, a town of Avon effort to renovate the southeastern corner of Harry A. Nottingham Park, the site of the Old Town Hall.

After receiving the council’s approval in November, the Avon Skate Coalition applied for the capital funding from the Colorado Health Foundation in February.

While the Avon Skate Coalition hoped to receive the vast portion of the skate park’s funding from the Colorado Health Foundation, the funding was not a given.

“Grant funding is never guaranteed, and that’s why it’s so difficult to fund projects through grants, solely,” Lewis said. “But projects like this one, there’s not really any taxpayer money in the budget for it.”

In June, the Avon Skate Coalition received official word that it would not be receiving the capital funding from the Colorado Health Foundation. “It doesn’t mean that we can’t apply for funding from them again in this area, it just means that at this point in time, there are other areas that meet their priorities more as a grant giving organization.”

“We have contingency plans for the grant funding, knowing that it was definitely disappointing that the Colorado Health Foundation declined to fund the capital portion,” Lewis said. “But we did benefit from their support. Really and truly, they helped us make it a fundable project.”

Town Council deliberates

With no guaranteed grant funding, the Avon Town Council reviewed its November decision at its meeting on Tuesday, June 11 to decide how to proceed with the skate plaza.

The town has already received a $1 million grant from the Department of Local Affairs to fund new restrooms, an improved seating wall, utility relocation and reconfiguration of the park area, including some alterations to the parking spaces that will result in the loss of eight parking spots. That funding is not meant for the skate park.

Council member Lindsay Hardy has long opposed using the southeastern corner of Nottingham Park for the skate park.

“I think it’s a land use planning mistake to move forward with the skate park. I still think it would be better in other locations,” Hardy said. “Move forward with the bathrooms. I would not like to move forward with spending a lot of time, energy and effort on something that I don’t think is best placed in that location.”

Other council members supported continuing the search for funding, but did not commit to continuing exclusively with the skate park in mind.

“The reason that I loved the skate plaza concept was the diversity, equity and inclusion aspects, and I do believe that there are alternatives of DEI activities, projects, installations, et cetera that can draw those kids that we want to serve in a different way that does not need to be skating,” said Tamra Underwood, Avon mayor pro tem. “I’m not saying that we don’t pursue skating, but I don’t know that I agree that we diligently pursue grant funding for that sole purpose.”

“I think we should keep the dream alive, but I think the onus should be on them (the Avon Skate Coalition) to figure out the funding,” said councilmember Chico Thuon.

The council decided to proceed with the funded components of the project, and to continue to pursue funding for the skate park. The project is going out to construction companies to bid by the end of July, with bids likely coming to council in October.

The skate plaza would include several terrain features for wheel enthusiasts at a range of skill levels. Regardless of whether the skate park comes to fruition, there will be new bathrooms at the site.
Town of Avon/Courtesy image

Persevering through the setback

“We just can’t let this setback of losing one funder, we can’t let that take us down. It was a big funder, yes, but never guaranteed,” Lewis said.

Even before hearing back from the Colorado Health Foundation, Lewis had already applied for grants from several other funding sources, including $25,000 from the Tony Hawk Foundation’s Skatepark Project, $30,000 from the Gates Family Foundation, and $100,000 from El Pomar. Award notices from all three organizations are expected to come out in the coming months.

Greater portions of funding could potentially come from Great Outdoors Colorado and from the Department of Local Affairs, but Avon received significant funding from both sources recently and may need to wait to reapply for more money.

Receiving another grant and being able to show that the community supports the project can lead to greater amounts of funding going forward. “In this funding arena, it can be a snowball effect,” Lewis said.

The Avon Skate Coalition is looking for several types of community support for the project. “We’re also hoping that our local community can step up and help us show that we are, as a community, through donations, committed to the project, just like the town is committed to the project,” Lewis said. “That makes us more fundable and (helps us look) like a more desirable project in the eyes of granters.”

Community members can also show their support for the project by volunteering with the Avon Skate Coalition. As the Avon Skate Coalition’s founding youth members get older, Lewis is looking for youth ambassadors to build lines of communication with younger people. “We just want kids to be out and about talking about the project. The more people talk about it, the more awareness we have,” Lewis said.

A GoFundMe can be found on the organization’s website, Those interested in becoming youth ambassadors can email Lewis at

Throughout the summer, members of the Avon Skate Coalition will be attending community events, hosting booths, and generally spreading the word amongst the community about the project. “We’re going to keep working hard. You’re going to see us out this summer,” Lewis said.

“We’re going to persevere, and this is a great project, and we hope everybody continues to support it like the Town Council has, and the town staff, because we all couldn’t have done it without working together like this,” Lewis said.

The Avon Skate Coalition is hosting an event at the Freedom Skatepark in Edwards from 5 to 7 p.m. on June 21, Go Skateboarding Day, with giveaways, food, games and music to spread the word about the Avon skate park project and celebrate skateboarding culture.

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