Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald Monroe Board and Blade Park is currently under construction at Lake Tye. The grand opening is slated for next weekend.

Got wheels? There are parks throughout the county for you

LAKE STEVENS — A planning meeting to round up ideas for a new skate area at Cavelero Park is set for Monday.

Five days later and less than 15 miles away, a celebration is planned to open an updated skate area at Lake Tye Park in Monroe.

Projects around the county are adding places for people with skateboards, roller blades, scooters and bicycles to gather with friends and test out their tricks.

At least five skate parks in Snohomish County have been recently built, renovated or are in the middle of being designed or remodeled.

The Cavelero project still is being designed. It’s part of a $1 million first phase to develop the park on Cavelero Hill, where Lake Stevens is growing fast. The work is being paid for with a $500,000 grant from the state Department of Commerce, $250,000 each from the city of Lake Stevens and Snohomish County, and donations from the Lake Stevens Rotary and Lions clubs.

An open house with park planners and contractor Grindline Skateparks is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Monday at Cavelero Mid High School, 8220 24th St. SE. Anyone is welcome to attend and share ideas.

“This is the kick-off meeting and we are hoping to gather information from the skating community about what type of skate park they would like,” senior park planner Kevin Teague said.

The goal is to open the new skate park in 2017. Plans for Cavelero include improving the dog park, putting in playgrounds and building a BMX track.

Monday’s meeting is about more than skating features, said Micah Shapiro, lead designer with Seattle-based Grindline.

“It’s to discuss … both the elements that will be skated and other elements like lighting, a possible roof structure, seating, shade, those kinds of things,” he said.

At Lake Tye, the Monroe Board and Blade Skate Park has been redone and a ribbon-cutting and skating competition are planned for Aug. 13. Grindline also worked on that park, a $270,000 project paid for with $150,000 from the city and $120,000 from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation program.

“Before, we had a lot of plywood ramps and those were just wearing down,” said Pam Baker, a spokeswoman for the city.

Plywood was replaced with concrete. New rails, sides and stairs were added.

“I think it will be a great community asset for the kids, the adults, whoever wants to be part of it,” Baker said.

Grindline works with skaters and park-goers on customized designs, Shapiro said. They’ve done other projects in Snohomish County, including at Bill Quake Memorial Parkin Arlington and at Wiggums Hollow Park in Everett.

They worked with the Tulalip Tribes on the Debra Barto Memorial Skate Park, which opened in February after years of planning. It’s named for a tribal member who was an advocate for children and who pushed to create a place for skaters on the reservation. Barto, 49, died last year of breast cancer.

Darrington also is planning a new skate area at Old School Park. Grindline is working with Skate Darrington and the town of Darrington on a design they hope to finish this fall, Shapiro said.

On the opposite side of the Mountain Loop Highway, Jim Holm Park in Granite Falls is getting a new $51,600 streetscape-style skate area this summer, built on a 60-by-60-foot expansion of the existing area. The goal is to replace the rest of the skate equipment next year.

It’s a good time to be a skater in Snohomish County as the network of skate parks expands.

“There’s a lot of practical evidence to see that they’re really well used. You can go to any skate park and if it’s a good, clean one, it’s being used,” Shapiro said. “I think a lot of communities that don’t have them are realizing hey, we need this in our community, the public is asking for it.”

People also like to travel from park to park.

“Now that there’s this network of parks, people can skate Everett one day, then Arlington, then Tulalip, then Monroe,” Shapiro said. “The idea is that the skate parks are for the communities they are built in, but there’s a lot of skateboard tourism. People will drive from Seattle to Arlington to skate the park because each park’s unique.”

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com

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