Harrison Street DIY

The sweat dripped off everyone’s face, the air thick and uncontrollable, the sun was already dropping but the heat wouldn’t go away. Classic Missouri weather. The goal was to have a skate feature formed and filled with rubble to be ready for a pour later that week. The pile of rubble sat a thirty or forty feet away, so the volunteers had to take turns filling buckets to bring down to the new spot. This time they were working on a quarter pipe with a ledge jutting out of the middle section.

It is nice knowing how far the Harrison Street DIY has come. Initially threaten to be torn down by the city back in 2015. At that point, the DIY only consisted of some concrete slapped on a few jersey barriers blocking off a once dangerous vacant cul-de-sac. The DIY has since received two large grants, one from the Rocket Grants in KC and one from the Tony Hawk Foundation. Apart from the grants, the DIY has raised thousands of dollars through donations and various fundraisers. 

The fate of the park is always in the dark as it is city property. Further development of the Columbus park neighborhood always threatens the life line of the DIY. Although it has an undefined deadline, the park happens to be the first DIY in Kansas City that the city has been willing to work with. The DIY continues to move on, building and growing defiant to the possible impending fate. The attitude has always been one of proving the city wrong, we can create something of value that the community can use and appreciate, keep it clean, safe, welcoming, self fund it and grow. 

The DIY has gained the attention from the midwest skate community, enough so that people from surrounding states will come into town on pour days to help build the park. 

The DIY has always been a place for collaboration, multiple signs marking the space have been commissioned and put in by various artists, unique paintings of the features, marble and a modge-podge of other items inlayed to create a unique visage that most conventional skate parks don’t get to share.

As long as the city supports this park, it will continue to grow. A living and breathing organism, the new features branching out like a tree reaching out to provide a place of refuge.

More information about Harrison Street DIY can be found on their facebook page. They share info on where to donate, when to volunteer on pour days, or just kick ass events they throw to help fundraise.


Photos span from 2016-2018

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