The Columbia Falls City Council has given preliminary approval for the Badrock Skatepark to be located in Fenholt Park on the east side of the town. City manager Carla Nicosia told the council members at their May 1 meeting that the Parks Committee had reviewed all city-owned parks and determined Fenholt to be the most suitable location. The skatepark would be constructed so as not to impact the baseball fields or sledding hill, according to the plans.
“Over the past year, we have hit dead-end after dead-end trying to find land to be donated for a skatepark,” said Badrock Skatepark Association President Matt Holloway. “Fortunately, the City saw our need and helped secure a location for us. We need a skatepark that is accessible by foot, board or bike, and this potential location is perfect.”
The nonprofit Badrock Skatepark Association (BSA) was formed in late 2021 by Holloway along with Rebecca Powell, Tyrel Johnson and Simon Smith with the goal of offering the local skateboarding community the same access as residents of Kalispell and Whitefish. The group had initial meetings with the Columbia Falls Parks Committee in 2022 to discuss its goals, and has been fundraising ever since. The plan is that once the skatepark is built it would be turned over to the city to maintain, though BSA would still contribute funding for maintenance or other incidental costs.
“Having two top-notch parks in the area is great, but it doesn’t help the kids who can’t get to them,” Holloway told the Beacon earlier this year following the announcement that the Dave Olseth Memorial Skate Park in Whitefish would be expanding. “I’ve been driving to Whitefish and back every day to skate for nearly 15 years. In the back of my head, I always felt a little bit of remorse for the homies in Columbia Falls who couldn’t drive or bike to Whitefish.”
In just over a year, the BSA has raised more than $400,000 to build a skatepark, the same fundraising amount raised for the initial Whitefish skatepark and its expansion. The Badrock Skatepark will move forward with surveying the site and determining how large of a skating area could be constructed.
“With a potential location, we are now able to involve the community in design, meaning we want the kids of Columbia Falls to help us design this park,” BSA treasurer Powell said. “This summer, we will be hosting several fun events to spread awareness and get the kids’ ideas on paper. Most importantly, this is “their” park!”
The park will be designed and constructed by Dreamland Skateparks, a company co-owned by Whitefish native Danyel Scott that has built skateparks around the world, including recently in Israel. Dreamland build the original Dave Olseth Memorial Skate park and is contracted for the expansion this summer.
“It’s a dream to be building in such an amazing community,” Scott said. “A place close to my home and heart. But more importantly, thisis about Columbia Falls getting their dream park, too!”
To learn more about the Badrock Skatepark Association follow them on Instagram @columbiafallsskatepark.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.