“Through our partnership with the Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Department, the Sioux Falls Skatepark Association (SFSA) is working to create a concrete skatepark,” said Alix Johnson, a volunteer with the SFSA. “Our project will ultimately be a gift to the city, so there’s a lot of moving parts that all take time.”
For the last five years, the SFSA has been supporting the effort to bring another valuable space to the community.
“There’s been a push for a concrete skatepark for a long time, which a lot of our crew has been a part of and focused on providing an inclusive environment for our community to enjoy,” said Johnson. “We came together as a perfect storm of commitment, compassion, and drive.”
The group is working through their Community Appeals Campaign to reach their financial goals for the park. They are also partnering with the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce to reach a diverse audience and bring attention to the project.
Construction on the park is anticipated to happen in 2023, near the intersection of Cliff Avenue and 10th Street.
“In the meantime, we will continue to interact with our community through skate lessons and events,” said Johnson.
Get to know a few of the minds supporting the SFSA, Johnson, Les Cotton, and Walter Portz, to learn more.
Art, design, and illustration are how my brain finds peace but also anxiety—balance.
TRY, TRY AGAIN
Skateboarding has taught me to get back up and not stop trying. When I get to skate, [the places I frequent] would be the Drake Springs Skateboard Park or my friend’s park, Siouxer Skateboards.
“With my talents in design and art, I want them to look as professional as possible, so they can be a successful business.” –Les Cotton explains how small businesses can improve.
TO THE BEAT OF THE DRUMS
I listen to anything from hip hop to country. Hot on my list now are Modest Mouse, IDLES, MF DOOM, CZARFACE, Aesop Rock, Ty Segall, Billy Strings, and Parquet Courts.
I want our community to grow, strive, and be rad. Whatever I can do to help, I do it with my heart on fire. We have so many talented people in town with their own dreams of making something for themselves. I want the mom ‘n’ pop shops to rule all.
“There’s been a push for a concrete skatepark for a long time, which a lot of our crew has been a part of. We came together as a perfect storm of commitment, compassion, and drive.” –Alix Johnson
BUMPS IN THE NIGHT
I’m also a member of the Minnehaha County Abandoned Cemeteries Board; we’re a group of volunteers who oversee the maintenance and preservation of over a dozen cemeteries in our county. Sometimes things get spooky… but mostly it’s a lot of weed wacking.
RIDING THE RAILS
I try to get to as many Sioux Valley Model Engineers Society events as possible. No, I don’t have kids, nor am I an aunt. Trains are just rad, and their enthusiasts are some of the most welcoming and interesting people I’ve encountered.
KEEP UP WITH THE SFSA
I actually don’t skate. My involvement with SFSA has stemmed from the art, ideology, and cultural benefits of skateboarding, along with the lifelong friendships I’ve built along the way. Most of my youth, I served as the lookout at skate spots, so I consider creating this skatepark as a natural progression. Plus, the more work I put in for SFSA, the more our crew can skate.
GROW AS WE GO
I’ve lived and worked downtown since 2004 and have loved seeing the heart of our community transform. Watching my friends open or refine their business endeavors and seeing them thrive makes my heart go pitter-patter.
5 Random Facts
+ Your city either has a great skatepark, or it is a skatepark.
+ Skateparks are typically one of the most used facilities in any city’s park system.
+ ESPN wrote an article in which they list the average annual spending a participant would have to partake in their sport. Skateboarding was the third least expensive, above only walking and swimming.
+ The Skatepark Project, a Tony Hawk foundation, has seen the value in their project and made an investment in their endeavor.
+ The lead designer on their project is pro skater Kanten Russell. Check out his YouTube, and you will be blown away at what he is able to do on a skateboard.
I enjoy creating artwork and playing music, although there certainly is never enough time for either.
I enjoy talking to people and meeting new people. There is a reason I am usually the one doing interviews as I really love to tell the story of why a skatepark is so important to the community.
I love the community—in particular the vibrancy of downtown has come so very far over the last 15 years. The food, activities, and community are important to the health of the people.
MORE THAN A PARTNER IN LIFE
My wife and I own a couple of businesses: Helen’s Plan, All Seasons Storage, and Studio Blu Photography.