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Skatepark planned for San Elijo Hills

SAN MARCOS — A longtime vision to bring a skatepark to the San Elijo Hills community in San Marcos may soon become reality. Recently, owners of a new multi-sport complex announced they would house the next skatepark.  Edenpark, an old recycling plant, will soon offer many indoor and outdoor activities, including a skatepark.

“The plan is to open it in 2021,” Edenpark co-founder Jason Simmons said. “The skatepark will be partially covered and against the building.”

The announcement comes after years of work from a local group to bring a skatepark to the area.

San Marcos resident Jeannine Melville originally started the group, San Elijo Hills Skatepark, more than four years ago. “I think there’s a big need,” she said. “San Elijo has done such a great job of accommodating the needs of the younger kids here. But the needs of the older kids is kind of an afterthought.”

Efforts from the group include meetings with city leaders, a Facebook group, a YouTube video, and an online petition with 700-plus signatures.

Melville said the group quickly found out that there are many things that can make a site not viable. “We were on a mission to go to work with the city to look at sites that were unused or that seemed like a good location,” she said. “We just kept on encountering hurdles.”

She emphasized the importance of city planning. “For example, it can’t be too far tucked away because you won’t be able to keep an eye on it from the streets or too close to a home or an area that’s not flat enough,” she said.

“The recently updated park master plan approved by our City Council in June of 2018 recognized a need for another skatepark in our city in the future,” Buck Martin from the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department said. “The location of the skatepark would be determined by public input and the availability of land.”

Although several signs prohibiting skateboarding are posted around the San Elijo Town Square, older children can often be seen jumping rails or curbs with skateboards around the local businesses. Melville said that was a primary reason for pushing for a park.

“I think it really all came from a combination of seeing all the complaints from the parents about the teens that were getting in trouble and just trying to put myself in their shoes and how frustrating it would be to not have a place to go,” she said. “I think if they had somewhere to go … they would stay out of the stores, they would stay out of the businesses and it would be a great help for the community.”

Several neighboring skate parks are in the area, including one in San Marcos, but Simmons says this new one would differ.

“This will be privately run and a private park,” he said. “Most of them are municipal areas.  Those are all about 20 minutes away. For most skateboarders to walk to them, it will be very difficult. There are quite a few homes in the area in San Elijo Hills. We are hoping people can walk there and enjoy it. The skate park isn’t the focal point but just one of many features.”

Simmons said the park would be geared toward skate and bike scooters. This park could possibly offer both “pool” and “street” skate options. Pool skate emulates the inside of an underground pool and street skate gives people the opportunity to try tricks on flat land.

In its initial phase, Edenpark already has 60,000 square feet of youth sports for basketball and sand volleyball. The space is also used for gymnastics and futsal. The sport and lifestyle facility was founded by two brothers and designed to be a state-of-the-art complex offering 190,000 square feet of amenities.   

Simmons said they hope to start delivering new tenant spaces in 2021. “We are always looking for more investors,” he said. “But we have a good investment group to get us through our phase one. It will be built in phases as we go.”

Among the possibilities being considered at Edenpark beyond the skatepark are a restaurant; a trampoline park; a swimming pool; fitness, health and wellness facilities; gymnastics, dance, restaurants and office space.

“The vision is just mind blowing,” Melville said of the space. She emphasized the importance of a skatepark to provide a sense of community. “I would say that there are so many more reasons for the skatepark.” She said besides being a place to skate, skateparks build skills and provide exercise as well as a place to reconnect with friends and it’s a place the whole family can go.

In March, Edenpark will start providing more information about phase two to the public. To learn more about the San Elijo Hills skatepark contact Jeannine Melville at sehskatepark@gmail.com.

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