Big Spring Skatepark completed

Charlie Denison

Big Spring Skatepark is now complete. Evergreen Skateparks wrapped up their construction on Wednesday. A grand opening is set for August 12.

Photo courtesy of Evergreen Skateparks

Evergreen Skateparks co-founder Billy Coulon took a moment Wednesday evening to appreciate the gift he and his crew just gave to the Lewistown community.

“This is a pretty good sized, well-refined skate park,” Coulon said. “We put a lot of thought into every square inch.”

Taking a look at the park’s main feature – The Treasure Bowl – Coulon couldn’t help but smile and talk some more.

“This is a really good one,” he said. “I’ve worked on more than 70 of these, and this is the best one.”

They keep getting better, Coulon said, and he’s particularly proud of this one. He hopes to see the youth of Lewistown have similar enthusiasm.

“Come here and use it,’ he said. “Ride it. Don’t just come here and smoke cigarettes. No shenanigans. Use it for what it’s made for.”

Based on the impression he’s gotten of Lewistown and the quality of the skate park, Coulon said he’s not concerned.

“I think the youth will be hooked on it right away,” he said.

Big Spring Skatepark has some challenging aspects to it, but it’s “pretty open and easily approachable,” he said, and that was Evergreen’s intent: to make it inviting.

For those who aren’t skaters, Coulon said now is a good time to pick up the hobby.

“I’d recommend it to anybody,” he said. “I’ve stuck with it since I was 10 years old, and it’s turned into a job that I wouldn’t trade for anything, not even a winning lottery ticket.”

This park – as is the case with the other skate parks popping up around Montana – would not have been possible without the financial support from Pearl Jam/Temple of the Dog bassist Jeff Ament, whose Montana Pool Service (and Vitalogy Foundation) matched funds raised for Lewistown’s park.

“He’s the most amazing dude,” Coulon said. “He just does it, you know? He doesn’t wave his hands in the air and say ‘look at me.’ He just wants to share this kind of energy. It’s incredible what he’s doing.”

Jason Stephens, Make It Happen Montana co-founder, can’t believe the skate park is really here. Ever since he was a teenager he wanted to see a skate park in Lewistown, and now it’s here.

“This whole thing is a screaming success,” he said. “It’s going to change lives.”

Coulon said he admires Jason’s enthusiasm in seeing this project through and getting a skate park built in his hometown.

“He’s stuck with it,” Coulon said. “We met Jason in Malta a year ago, skating the park, and he said ‘we’ve got to get something going in Lewistown.’ Here we are: a year later.”

Evergreen got to work in May and didn’t waste any time: they finished the project six weeks ahead of schedule.

“These guys move,” Stephens said.

Although the park is complete, it is not yet open to the public, as rule boards need to be in place. A sprinkler system and sod will also be installed.

It won’t be long


Grand opening set for August 12

To celebrate, Make It Happen Montana, City of Lewistown Parks and Recreation Board representatives, City Manager Holly Phelps, Ament and others will come together at Symmes Park, behind the Chamber of Commerce, and formally open Big Spring Skatepark to skaters young and old with a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday, August 12 at 12:30 p.m.

Make It Happen Montana co-founder Renee Stephens said she is excited to have Ament come for the grand opening to represent Montana Pool Service. Not shy about skating, Ament plans on letting it rip, as well, and even invited some renowned skater friends to join him.

A Big Sandy native, Ament has made it his goal through MPS to “build skateparks in Rural Montana and help support active and healthy lifestyles for youth,” he said in a recent email.

Ament played a large part in bringing the skate park to life, but Renee said the people who really pulled it off are those on the Make It Happen Board: Jason and Doug Stephens, Mary Wert, Lori Lutz and Luke Brandon

“They believe in our mission statement to empower, inspire and invest in communities to support and make social change,” she said. “There were a lot of doubts when we started this project, and we’ve overcome them thanks to this board’s passion for change and following their dreams.”

Smokey Bro’s, Trailer Treats, Tall Boys and Try My Thai will all be nearby serving food during this day-long party, which rolls into the evening. There will be live music on Main Street following the activity at the park. And – for one night only – Judith Theatre will play “Dogtown and Z-Boys,” the 2001 documentary about the 1970s Zephyr skating team, pioneers of making skateboarding an “extreme and acrobatic” sport. The movie will start shortly after the music ends.

Renee, Jason and Make It Happen encourage people, whether they be skaters or not, to come out and be part of this historic moment for Lewistown.

Furthermore, Renee hopes this accomplishment can help inspire others to pursue their own dreams.

“Chase your dreams. Be courageous,” she said. “Get out there and find your tribe of people who encourage you to be courageous and encourage you to be bold.”





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