Culver is getting a skate park thanks to one teenager with a dream and determination.
“Finally, this dream that I had when I was a ninth grader is finally becoming a reality,” said 17-year-old Uriel Mejia of Culver.
The journey for Mejia to see this come to fruition wasn’t easy.
In his freshman year of high school, he and his younger friends made a presentation advocating for a skate park to the Culver City Council.
“Looking up to these way older people than you that have these positions of power to try and ask them for something that they clearly don’t want to give you,” said Mejia. “So, a lot of people backed out and were scared.”
It was an intimidating moment for kids who just want a place to ride, but Mejia chose to keep fighting for his dream.
“In the end, I decided I gotta do it, I have to at least give it a shot, the worst that can happen is they say no,” said Mejia. “So, I kept through I went to city council where they kind of just told me, this isn’t going to happen.”
His former first-grade teacher, Cindy Dix, was helping along the way with funding and logistics.
Uriel says about a year after his presentation, things started moving in the right direction towards the idea of a skate park.
Then, a beloved staff member, Darlene Urbach, passed away. She was someone who had a passion for helping kids.
“Her family, after she had passed away, they were looking for something that Darlene would have liked them to do with funds that they had,” said Dix.
What they found was the dream shared by a group of kids led by Uriel. The family donated the money they had, and over the years, more groups and organizations also contributed to helping with costs.
Dix says the purchase price for the land was $135,000. Using urban renewal district dollars, Oregon Community Foundation (Kenneth Stovall Memorial Fund) and the Bean Foundation to purchase the land that was then donated to the city.
With enough money raised and the land purchased, recently, the Culver City Council approved the idea of having a skate park.
“Maybe I won’t be able to skate it, but everyone else in the community will be able to skate it, and it is going to be a great addition to Culver and I am just super excited and looking forward to finally having the skate park that has been in progress for three years finally become a thing,” said Mejia.
The skate park will be funded through donations to the Darlene Urbach Memorial Youth Foundation. If anyone would like to donate, they can mail donations to Darlene Urbach Memorial Youth Fund c/o Brett Urbach 323 East D Street, Culver, OR 97741. It is a non-profit, and they can receive a tax credit for the donation.
Organizers are hoping to have the skate park up and running by mid-summer 2023.