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Mayor Paul Soglin and Parks Superintendent Eric Knepp today announced the City of Madison has been awarded $295,308 towards the construction of the Central Park Skatepark project by the Department of the Interior.  The grant, part of a new competitive grant program called the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership, is funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). For more than 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has invested revenue from federal offshore oil and gas royalties into more than 40,000 outdoor recreation facilities and conservation projects in every state.
The grant, which was applied for in 2014, is to re-develop and revitalize a vacant/underutilized former industrial area by constructing Madison’s first skatepark at the newly developed Central Park.  The project has included extensive public involvement in the planning and design of the skatepark.  Youth and young adults have played an active role in the design, fundraising and realization of this important new park amenity for Madison residents.   The skatepark will offer a safe and attractive destination for people of all skate skill levels.  Construction of the 20,000 sf skatepark will also include support facilities such as lighting, walkways, underdrainage system, landscaping, drinking fountain, seating areas, and fencing.   Construction has commenced and will continue through the summer with an anticipated completion date in mid-August.  
Mayor Paul R. Soglin said, “Central Park has become a wonderful addition to Madison’s Isthmus area used regularly by neighborhood families and for events which attract residents city-wide. Providing an attractive destination for skaters of all skill levels not only promotes healthy individuals, especially youth, but also provides a public space that will help build a healthier community.”  
Parks Superintendent Eric Knepp said “The Skatepark project has been a shared vision for our community for a number of years.  To have federal grant support in addition to the significant private fundraising demonstrates a very successful public-private partnership that significantly improves our City’s park system.”
Alder Joe Clausius, Park Commissioner and who has worked on the skatepark project since its inception, stated “I am very proud to see the skate park come to fruition after years of hard work from staff, the community and city officials.  I am especially proud of this project, given my son’s love for skateboarding.”
Mayor Soglin is a member of the Mayors for Parks. This coalition, launched by the City Parks Alliance brings together mayors from around the country who have seen success of  LWCF-funded projects in their cities and believe that investments in community parks help grow local economies.
The Madison Skatepark fund has been the primary fundraising partner and has assisted in securing donations of more than $500,000.   The Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Foundation donated $250,000 towards the development of the skatepark that will be named in their honor. Dane County provided $200,000 through a PARC grant and other donations were provided by the Marquette Neighborhood Association, Eliot and Sara Butler, Madison Community Foundation, Willy St. Coop, Purple Moon Foundation, Tony Hawk Foundation, Myles Williams Memorial Fund, Brooks Family and other donations through the Madison Parks Foundation.