Connect Santa Fe
Located equidistantly between the Railyard and the downtown plaza, El Parque del Rio is a critical anchor for the long-range path to downtown walkability. A linear park that follows the Santa Fe River as it flows through downtown Santa Fe, El Parque del Rio is a major amenity and historic site within the city. The river park was beset with a series of long-term problems. The landscape architecture firm Surroundings, working with City Public Works staff, are currently building a refurbished urban skatepark, new sidewalks, innovative landscaping, shading devices, new trees (including a fruit orchard), and infrastructure to slow, treat and release storm water in a way that benefits both the nearby vegetation and the Santa Fe River.
This is the first of two renovations projected for DeVargas Park. A detailed vision of the park’s potential second phase includes a multi-modal trail that follows the river under the streets, an amphitheater, and a pedestrian bridge across the river.
The Story of DeVargas Skate Park
The old skate park in DeVargas Park, built in 1995 before many advances in skate park design were developed, was in a deteriorated state in 2008. Yet that years Bond Master Plan included very few funds for skate parks because the local skating community was not involved in the planning process.
Bette Booth, Chair of the Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Commission (POSAC) recognized the omission and asked Daniel Coriz to join POSAC to represent BMX and Santa Fe young skateboard community. He was joined in 2009 by Joe Lehm of Santa Fe’s Skate School.
Also in 2009, skaters Ryan Lawless and Pete Gardini attended a POSAC meeting, soon joined by Carlos Caldwell. POSAC and the skateboarders began working together to increase the skaters’ voice in parks planning and implementation. Parks staff also began working much more closely with the skaters. Carlos started the Santa Fe NM -SkatePparks- Facebook page. Ryan started the Santa Fe Community College Skateboard Club and Hometown Skateboarding Organization Santa Fe. For the first time, skaters were informed and involved.
In 2010, Bette, Ryan, Carlos, Joe, Brian Drypolcher, River & Watershed Coordinator for the City of Santa Fe met at the skate park to discuss what could be done to “fix it” with the 2008 Bond monies. Brian became a key champion for the skateboarders and encouraged everyone to support the building of a complete new skate park. According to Carlos Caldwell, “Brian Drypolcher really listened to the skateboard community voicing the need to find a skate park design team and experienced skate park builders.”
Early 2011, the landscape designers for DeVargas Park, Faith Okuma and Kenneth Francis of Surrounding contracted ASD’s Mike McIntyre to design the new park. Mike held extensive public meetings with the skaters and invited all who participated on the stage. Finally, in August 2011 a plan was complete.
Lockwood Construction, with Bill Greenhalgh as Project Manager, was contracted in 2013 to build the new DeVargas Park, with Matt Fluegge of Grindline doing the construction of the skate facility.
Creative Santa Fe thanks all those who have worked together to create this new park for the city and have allowed our organization to celebrate its opening.
Special Thanks to:
Citizens of Santa Fe for approving the 2008 Parks and Trails Bond that paid for this renovation, the Parque del Rio and other parks throughout the City.
Mayor David Coss of Santa Fe, Mayor ProTem Rebecca
Wurzburger and Santa Fe’s City Councilors
Fabian Chavez and Ben Gurule
Parks Division Directors
Brian Drypolcher, River & Watershed Coordinator,
City of Santa Fe
Bette Booth, Daniel Coriz and Joe Lehm
Santa Fe Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Commission
Ryan Loveless, Pete Gardini, Carlos Caldwell
and others in the skate community.
Kenneth Francis and Faith Okuma, Surroundings
Mike McIntyre, ASD
Bill Greenhalgh, Lockwood Construction
Matt Fluegge, Grindline