“Skate Park Mom” Advocates for Better Safety

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San Dimas resident Savannah Spillman was dubbed “skate park mom” by the teens that frequent Pioneer Park Skate Park. She has been skating at the park for three years and is now advocating for the installation of lights in order to extend the park’s hours of operation. Photo: Rommel Alcantara

By Lauren Choi

Food, snacks and Band-Aids. Three essential tools in any parent’s toolbox. It’s no different for Savannah Spillman, the San Dimas “skate park mom,” who does her best to look out for those who frequent the San Dimas skate park. 

“She’s a very caring, open-armed person. She has a bright spirit,” said Sarah Campos, a 17-year-old San Dimas resident and regular at Pioneer Park Skate Park.

Spillman recently began advocating for, among other things, the installation of lights at the park. During the public comment period of the Aug. 25, 2020, City Council meeting, Spillman said it is her desire to make Pioneer Park safer for community members who use the park and its facilities.

“That skate park is my second home,” Spillman said.

In a proposal submitted to the city, Spillman explains that additional lighting will not only allow skateboarders to have a safe space to exercise, but it will also make the community safer by providing better visibility in the area for law enforcement. 

Spillman estimates the cost of the lights to be $5,900 based on the size of the 8,500 square foot skate park. To offset the routine cost of the lights, she recommends taking an approach similar to the City of Jurupa Valley’s skate park, which charges skaters 75 cents to keep the lights on for 20 minutes.

Other skate parks in the surrounding area have lighting that enables skating after the sun goes down, including Cahuilla Skate Park in Claremont, La Verne Sports Park in La Verne and Memorial Skate Park in Upland.

Steve Farmer, the city’s landscape manager, presented Spillman’s request as an information-only item at the Nov. 17, 2020, Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. The proposal will be presented to city council at a future study session, the date for which has not yet been determined.

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