Construction on new skatepark in Alberton to begin in early July

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Evergreen Skateparks has built more than 10 skateparks in Montana. The Alberton skatepark will look similar to this one which was built in Darby. (Courtesy photo)

Alberton kids and adults will be able to skateboard in the Hank Roat Memorial Park at the end of the summer once a custom designed skatepark is built.

The Promoting Excellence in Alberton-area Kids (PEAK) Foundation finished raising more than $200,000 to build the roughly 7,000-square foot skate park and work is estimated to begin in early July.

Evergreen Skateparks, based out of Portland, Oregon, estimated the park will be completed in about six weeks. This means Alberton residents could be skateboarding in the park as soon as the end of August.

“By the end of the summer, we’re going to have a skatepark,” PEAK foundation member Jaime Odell said. “It’s unbelievable.”

In 2016, the PEAK foundation conducted a survey to determine a long-term activity for kids ages 10 to 18. Odell says a skatepark was one of the top selections on the survey, so PEAK began brainstorming ways to turn the skatepark into a reality. After communication with the town council, PEAK voted on funds and started applying for grants.

The town of Alberton contributed $50,000 and the skatepark has also received several grants including a matching grant from Montana State Parks, a grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation and the Montana Pool Service.

Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament founded Montana Pool Service in 1992 and collaborates with rural Montana communities to build skateparks. He’s built 20 skateparks in Montana and has worked with Evergreen Skateparks to build more than ten of those.

“He just wanted to give back,” Evergreen Skateparks co-owner Catherine Coulon said.

Ament contributed $50,000 to Alberton’s skatepark and he designed a bowl for it.

In 2014, Evergreen and Ament’s charity did their first partnership on the Blackfeet Reservation where Montana Pool Service funded the entire project, according to Coulon.

Once the skatepark is finished, PEAK will start the next phase of the park in the spring of 2020 where they will demo the tennis courts replace it with a new one. Following the tennis court, the rest of Hank Roat Memorial Park’s renovations will continue.

The park currently has climbing tires, disc golf and a tennis court, but the foundation is working to create a parkour (obstacle course), musical components like a xylophone bench, a walking path and tennis court renovation.

The parkour has a design that promotes movement that will replace the current tennis court. It gives a full-body cardio workout, boosts confidence in kid and adults and promotes creativity.

“The people that run PEAK are progressive and fulfil their ideas and follow through,” Alberton Schools Principal Mica Clarkson said.

Alberton Schools collaborate with PEAK to do fundraising and since they do not have a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), PEAK fills that position.

Clarkson says Alberton doesn’t offer many activities for kids to do right now, but PEAK is working to change that.

“It’s another safe place where students can do something that’s active and healthy and not have to travel to do something they enjoy,” Clarkson said.

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