Local group seek donations to fund free public skate park

There’s a new skate park coming to Wyandotte, but private donations are needed to complete the project. 

Drop in Downriver, a non-profit organization, received a $250,000 matching grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, along with the Tony Hawk Foundation to build a world class skateboard park, the first of its kind in the area. 

With the minimum matching funds, Drop in Downriver will be able to construct a 10,000 sq. ft. cement skate park to be enjoyed for generations to come. Their organization will maintain the skate park, which will be ADA accessible.

Garold Vallie, a lifelong Downriver resident and president of Drop in Downriver, has been involved in the skateboarding culture for over 35 years, with 10 years competing and winning awards on a national level. 

“Skateboards, scooters, roller blades, roller skates, BMX bicycles, and even wheelchairs will be welcomed with open arms. Studies have shown that extreme sports parks have helped people with mental health issues, at risk youth, youngsters within the autism spectrum, and so many others,” said Vallie.

Over the past nine months the group has raised $20,000 but they’re still far from their $250,000 goal.

“The stipulations for the grant state we have one year to raise the matching funds and one year to build the park. Our deadline is fast approaching, and we are exhausting all avenues to make this dream a reality,” he said.

The skate park site will border three Downriver communities: Wyandotte, Riverview, and Southgate. The neighboring communities are clean, safe, and offer a one-of-a kind location less than a mile from the Detroit River. 

All donations large and small are welcomed and appreciated. Those wishing to donate or learn more can “like” the Drop in Downriver Facebook. The group can also be reached at dropindownriver@gmail.com.

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