For years, Magnolia Skate Shop owner Bobby Wilson envisioned a skate park in inner city Fort Worth. Now that construction has started, he and the skate community are in joyous disbelief.
“I would take that route every single day and think, ‘This is going to be a skate park.’ Two years later, it’s finally breaking ground,” Wilson said. “We’re the 12th-largest city in America, and we don’t have an inner city skate park serving the youth.”
Wilson was part of a 2017 team of skate park advocates who urged the city and Near Southside Inc. to build a skate park in the heart of Fort Worth.
After years of community meetings, the team and Near Southside, Inc.’s dream came true when Fort Worth-based apparel company Dickies and the VF Foundation donated $300,000 for the construction of the skate plaza.
The construction site, 1616 Hemphill St., was fenced off July 1, and dirt prep began July 5. The skate plaza is still set to be completed by October 2022.
“Beyond it helping us, we’re stoked for the community because it’s gonna serve so many different communities. It’s right in the center,” Wilson said.
Cities don’t use inner city land for skateparks, and the land is too expensive for them to let it be used for something that won’t make them money, Wilson said. Near Southside Inc. and other community leaders advocated for the City of Fort Worth to purchase the land years ago. The city acquired the land in 2016.
Now that construction has begun, the work the team has done seems real for Wilson:
“It’s so sick to see it happening, because we’ve been waiting so long.”
Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.