Photo By Robert Levin

All Decked Out! Artists get ‘on board’ for skatepark



Photo By Robert Levin
MDI Skatepark Association supporters Katie Noble Churchill, left, and Andi Pepler, right, join board of directors chairman Karen Svenson to cut the cake celebrating the annual fundraiser.

MOUNT DESERT — The MDI Skatepark Association (MDISA) has been striving valiantly for seven years to build a skatepark on the Bar Harbor athletic fields. With approval of the town council already in hand, along with a comprehensive design and a geo-technical survey of the site, all the group needs now is enough money to move forward.

Slowly, through a series of events and outreach efforts, the skatepark backers are approaching their goal. On Thursday, Aug. 28, MDISA hosted its biggest fundraiser of the year, Decked Out 2014. The Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor played host to the event, which included a silent auction of approximately 30 hand-painted and artistically-decorated skateboard decks, along with a number of other items donated by local businesses.

Board designs ranged from whimsical to colorful to eclectic. One artist turned his board into a small bench; another installed a fishbowl into the center, complete with a live fish; still a third divided his board into the curving, green sections of a caterpillar. Bidders periodically walked through the exhibit, checking to see the price their favorite boards were fetching, updating their bids when necessary.

Park supporters have reached and extended multiple deadlines with the Bar Harbor town council for beginning construction. The latest deadline is this September; group representatives have already said that they need another year. It will be up to councilors to decide if the extension is granted.

In a recent triumph, MDISA was awarded a $7,500 challenge grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation to be matched by $5,000 by January 2015. Board members are confident they can meet that goal.

To learn more about the efforts to build a skatepark in Bar Harbor, visit mdiskatepark.org, find the group on Facebook, call 294-1944, or email [email protected]

Robert Levin

Robert Levin

Former reporter Robert Levin covered the people, businesses, governmental and nonprofit agencies of Bar Harbor. [email protected]