Early planning for a regional skatepark along the Principal Riverwalk began in 2004 with AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy). The Skatepark Cabinet, in collaboration with the City of Des Moines, has worked actively to lay the groundwork for acquiring community support. This includes:
- AMOS met with churches, community leaders and surveyed Des Moines residents to determine what public projects were needed in the city for our youth. A public skatepark was the clear favorite. AMOS put together a small committee and sought support from the City of Des Moines.
- The City of Des Moines donated 2 acres of beautiful riverfront property adjacent to School Street and 2nd Avenue to become the site of a regional skatepark. (The skatepark will become an extension of the northern area of the Principal Riverwalk). This land donation has an estimated value of $610,000.
- A $50,000 leadership grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines was received in 2010. This grant was used, in part, to secure a world-class skate park design by California Skateparks. The design reflects more than 65,000 square feet of skate-able terrain consisting of three distinct areas.
- A $500,000 “challenge grant” from The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Leadership Circle was committed in 2015. This challenge grant was offered to encourage others to support this important downtown project to support youth and families.
- A Skatepark Campaign Cabinet was mobilized in September, 2017 to provide leadership in raising the dollars needed to bring the skatepark from vision to reality. The Cabinet is chaired by Brad Anderson, Angela Connolly and Christine Hensley and comprised of 23 community leaders and skatepark enthusiasts.
- A $1 million leadership donation was received in February, 2018 from the Lauridsen Family Foundation. The regional skatepark will be named the Lauridsen Skatepark.
- A public and media event was held on April 4, 2018 to announce news of the Lauridsen Skatepark and to engage the community in the project. The public goal is to receive 3,000 signatures and 1,000 new donations in support of the skatepark.
- A formal groundbreaking ceremony was in October 2018
- In early 2019, Spectator Park added to plans (with second goal to raise additional $2.6 million – $6.1 million total.
- Polk County proposes to retain ownership of land/park permanently – construction begins.
- Fundraising complete!