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Brainerd closes Jaycee's Skatepark

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Despite efforts by local skateboarders and outside programs that spanned nationwide, Jaycee’s Skatepark will be no more, said Brainerd Parks and Recreation Director Tony Sailer.

“The League of Minnesota Cities said the city of Brainerd needed to close the skateboard park because it was a liability issue,” said Sailer of the skatepark originally built in 2004. “A big part of that was the cement pad the equipment rests on. The cement is cracked and uneven which easily could result in injury. The estimate to replace the cement is $20,000. There were some other issues with the skateboard equipment and park being vandalized on a regular basis and nonstop graffiti. All of these issues factored into the skateboard park being closed.

“At this time the park board has no plans for a new skateboard facility as it would be cost prohibitive.”

A park that had raised concerns following excessive vandalism and damage in February 2012, the Brainerd Parks and Recreation Board locked the gates and closed Jaycees Skatepark until further notice on March 27.

But following a story in the Brainerd Dispatch that sparked the community, parks and rec was flooded with an outpouring of community and nationwide support to help to get a skatepark back into Brainerd.

Kindboards Shop, a local skateboard shop in downtown Brainerd, co-owners Adam Olander and Greg Eberly took to social media for a cleanup of the park and worked throughout the spring months with Sailor and parks and rec for another solution other than closing it down.

A nationwide presence was also felt in Brainerd with the help of nonprofit organizations such as California Skateparks and the Tony Hawk Foundation — programs designed to help aid towns in the construction and fundraising of skateparks around the world — with the same goal of keeping Jaycees open.

Ultimately, Sailer said, it just became easier to keep the park closed and added that the next step is to find a new home for the equipment that was purchased when the park opened with a donated $100,000 grant from KABOOM!

Sailer said he has received inquiries on purchasing the equipment from four metro area communities and local Mount Ski Gull to be used in its snowboard park.

Interested parties have until Dec. 21 to submit a bid and Sailer added that the winning bidder will be responsible for removing and transporting the equipment at its own cost.

JESSI PIERCE, staff writer, may be reached at 855-5859 or Follow her on Twitter at (@jessi_pierce).