SIOUX FALLS S.D. (KELO) — The Barb Iverson Skate Plaza is set to break ground at Nelson Park later this summer with its opening in spring 2024.
Let’s Skate, which was previously the Sioux Falls Skatepark Association, spearheaded the project and saw a need in the community for a state-of-the-art park. The current parks, Drake Springs and Kuehn Park, are over 25 years old.
The new park will be built north of the swimming pool on Cliff Avenue and set up as a “street style” skate with bowls, ramps, rails and stairs.
“It’s good for beginners, good for intermediate and advanced skaters,” Let’s Skate founder Walter Portz said. “Some of the really advanced skaters might run out of things to do, but skateboarders are creative, we can skate a curve too.”
Let’s Skate was able to raise $1.7 million for the project and the Department of Parks and Recreation is giving $800,000 to the project. In 2019, the Sioux Falls Parks Board approved the updates to the Nelson Park master plan to include the Barb Iverson Skate Plaza.
“We’re always looking to partner with local organizations and serve underserved neighborhoods and get them active,” Carter Roberts, a park development specialist, said. “Not only will skaters be able to use this park, it’ll be aimed toward bikes and rollerblades and other activities.”
The park was designed by Kanten Russell from New Line Skateparks based in Canada. Russell was a former professional skateboarder and has now led the design process for over 250 skateparks.
Let’s Skate hosted a public input meeting at the library where local kids and skaters could design their ideal dream skate park, these ideas were given to Russell and incorporated into the park design.
“A lot of kids that come from broken homes or impoverished homes will have opportunities to get out into the community and have a good time and develop creative skills to resiliency and mentorship,” Portz said. “All of that is fostered in a skatepark kind of naturally, especially if you have a big, new, nice skatepark that really gives a lot of opportunities for kids to grow and learn and meet other people in the community.”