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how to get a skatepark in your town
 

ADVOCACY - THE SKATEPARK ADVOCATE

What is Advocacy, why am I hearing you use this word in reference to getting a skatepark.

Advocacy = public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy.

Advocacy is exactly what you’re doing when you are talking about your skatepark project.  It is what you are doing when you are telling someone about your project, explaining to someone why it is a good idea, updating someone in your community about the progress of your project, or correcting someone’s misconceptions about skateparks. It is what you are doing when you are presenting your concept to your council, you are being an advocate.

A skatepark advocate is a community activist representing local skaters, a catalyst for social change, and an essential part of the democratic process. Nothing in a city or town gets built without someone advocating for it. Every skatepark in the nation has an advocate to thank.

Advocacy is basically another word for “promoter.” As a skatepark advocate, you are a skatepark promoter. Your job is to share your vision with your community and its leaders in a way that builds support for the cause. As an advocate, your task will be to accelerate and amplify the skatepark message. You will influence how often the public talks about the skatepark, but also the language they use when they talk about it. You will use language that calms fears, sheds light on the unknown, and presents the skatepark as a great opportunity for your community.

The more you advocate (or talk about the skatepark), the easier and more fun it becomes. At first, you will prepare your presentations carefully, review your statistics, and have thoughtful lists of things you want to cover. You might even read prepared speeches from notes. That’s okay! After a while you’ll need fewer notes and will begin to develop key phrases that seem to work well for you, a phrase that other people respond well to an understand. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t.

For advocates, no opportunity is missed to talk about the skatepark vision. You will eventually come to live and breathe your skatepark project.

The different stages of the skatepark development require different types of advocacy. When you’re in the early stages, you’ll focus your attention on building relationships with key people in your community. As you begin exploring potential locations for the facility, you’ll reach out to people from that neighborhood. How you describe the skatepark will take a different tone, and you’ll talk about aspects of the facility that you didn’t have to cover earlier. Later, you’ll use your experience to seek funds for the design and construction. The language will become technical, and you’ll rely heavily on statistics. In other words, each different stage in development and every audience will benefit from a slightly different focus. Through practice, you’ll learn how to anticipate your audience’s interest and tailor your language appropriately.

The best way to become an effective advocate is to get out there and do it.

 


ARTICLES RELATED TO THIS SECTION

Start a Facebook page

Start a Petition for your Skatepark

Form a Skatepark Group

Have a Skatepark Group meeting

Write a Mission Statement

Contact a Skatepark Company for Designs of Parks they've built

 

 

  THE SKATEPARK FOUNDATION