Building Community Together: Mecklenburg County and Partners to Build and Expand Skate Parks

People building a DIY skate park at Kilborne Park.

Mecklenburg County is responding to residents’ calls for greater access to skate parks by investing millions of dollars in these valued outdoor amenities over the next five years.

The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a $4 billion Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for Fiscal Years 2024 to 2028 that will address the infrastructure demands of a growing community. Nearly $6.9 million in CIP funding will establish new skate parks at Nevin Park, Shuffletown Park, Kilborne Park, and Idlewild Road Park. The County will also expand the existing skate park at Renaissance Park. The funding may also improve or add necessary supports, such as site furnishings, traffic flow and parking. 

“We are always seeking to evolve and grow to keep pace with the needs of all communities,” said W. Lee Jones, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department director. “We have heard of the need for more skating opportunities, and we are glad to be filling that gap.” 

Making a New DIY Skate Park a Reality

This investment in future skating locations builds on existing partnerships and ongoing projects. At Kilborne Park, the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department has been working with the nonprofit Charlotte Skate Foundation to transform underutilized tennis courts into a park custom-built by skaters.

“Charlotte Skate Foundation is grateful for our collaboration with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, who have done an outstanding job of listening to our community and helping us actualize our vision of a self-sustaining, DIY, public skatepark in east Charlotte,” said the foundation’s co-founder, Luke Giduz.

Development of the Kilborne Park facility began after a skate park on the former Eastland Mall site was demolished in 2022 to prepare for the site’s redevelopment. Built in 2015, the skate park had become a hub for the local skater community.

To give skaters a new home and as a catalyst to start the new CIP investments, the County has provided a paved space at Kilborne Park. The property will stay under Mecklenburg County ownership while Charlotte Skate Foundation builds and maintains it to ensure it meets skaters’ needs. Construction began in June to give skaters a place to skate in the summer.

“It will be designed, built, and maintained by the very skaters who use it,” Giduz said. “All of our labor is volunteer-based, meaning our limited funds will stretch further than by hiring a contractor, and the park will come together gradually over time, meaning we can constantly add on, renovate and change up the layout as we see fit.”

Additional Investments in Skate Parks

In addition to $6.9 million specifically allocated to support skate parks across Mecklenburg County, the CIP supports expanding Bryant Park in west Charlotte. More than $7.4 million will go to the 15.5-acre park, which will likely include a skate park and other new amenities such as a playground, shelters, a dog park, greenways and trails, as determined by community members.