Lee moved to Roseburg 30 years ago and opened Put On Athletics, a full line athletics store, 8 years later. He soon contacted every city in the state of Oregon, inquiring about skateparks and how to go about getting one. Many years later, in the fall of 1997, he rounded up $3000 worth of skateboard industry donations and wooed 150 kids and 150 parents to a meeting about a skatepark in Roseburg.
There was a surge of interest and the Umpqua Skaters Association was born. But the City of Roseburg did not want a skatepark or even to encourage one. They didn't give money or land to the Umpqua Skaters Association. U.S.A. searched for alternate sources of finances and applied for several grants. They received four. One from the Ford Family Foundation (a $50,000 matching grant), two from Douglas County and the Cal (spelling?) Creek First Nation, each $17,500 to help match the Ford grant, and one from the Chaney Foundation in Washington for $25,000 which has yet to be spent on the beginners section and possible bmx additions.
Gene Dixon was President of the Umpqua Skaters Association for a couple years and really drove the project home, staying in contact with the county and the contractor, Longbreak, from Sutherlin, who actually built the skatepark. The County donated equipment use and people donated their time and together dug about $35,000 worth of excavation for the skatepark's foundation. Eric Dawkins of Southern Oregon fame, consulted with local skaters in designing the park.
When the park was mostly complete in March of 2000, the Umpqua Skaters Association wanted to donate it to the city. I haven't gotten the city's story yet, but it sounds like the city didn't want to accept it and at some point tried to charge the U.S.A. $2500 for a building permit. Ugh! The park is open for use, but it is hopefully not complete. USA wants to add a beginners section and possibly a bmx dirt track. The land is a 1/2 acre on lease from the VA hospital -large red building in the backround of some photos.
The city has approved finishing the park with the beginners section and there might room for the bmx track.
Stewart Park, NW Goetz St (1600 block). Behind Fred Meyers on Garden Valley Boulevard and the VA Hospital.
One of the easier parks to find in Oregon.
From I-5 take the Garden Valley Blvd exit #125 and go west. In about two blocks, you will see a Fred Meyers on the left. Take a left (south) on Goetz St, which is the light at the west end of Fred Meyers. You may also see a sign for Stewart Park.
I-5. Exit #125. Go west on Garden Valley Blvd. Left at light on Goetz St.
Umpqua Skaters Association's President is now Kay Buffum. You can contact U.S.A. at (541) 673-1414.
Fred Meyer Customer Service
3800 SE 22nd
Portland, OR 97202
Toll-free Customer Service: 1-800-858-9202
or Roseburg Fred Meyer
929 NW Garden Valley Blvd.
Roseburg, OR 97470-1900
Put On Athletics
622 Se Jackson St
The Stewart Park lake is in the backround.
(right) Kris Anderson, drifting in the blue beyond.
Jeremiah McCarthy over Colby Sims. POW!
Andrew Cunningham, frontside grind on the 10 footer.
The Vetrans Hospital in the backround.