Skater’s dad shares history of new park

Lance Vaughn holds an archival copy of an April 2009 Signal opinion page featuring his now-22-year-old son.
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After 12 years of writing letters, lobbying officials and waiting, Lance Vaughn and his son Garrett will finally be able to see the grand opening of a new skate park for the Castaic area.

According to the elder Vaughn, the process for building the new skating area, located on the Castaic Sports Complex facilities, began over a decade ago when his then-9-year-old son asked why there was no place in his Castaic neighborhood for him and his friends to skate.

Garrett began skating at a young age, roughly at the same age his father had started skating back in the 1970s in the Santa Monica area.

“In the ’70s, it was a mode of transportation … and then, when vert skating came out, I was always looking for empty swimming pools that I could skate and try to (ride) over the light in it,” Lance Vaughn said. “But we would have to drive all over” from Fillmore to Venice to Santa Monica to go to a skatepark.

Looking at possibilities
After seeing the number of Santa Clarita families that were doing the same thing as the Vaughns, traveling as far as Venice to ride with quality skaters on quality freestyle runs, Lance and his son decided to look into the possibility of getting something for his sport built in their local community.

“So I told him let’s get a flyer and let’s hang it up,” said Lance, who said the flyer asked all the skaters in the community interested in having a skate park to attend a meeting at the recreation center. “About 70 kids show up … and, eventually, they built a temporary skatepark a few years later.”

According to Lance, the temporary facility was great for the time being, but it cost $15,000 and didn’t satiate the dream he and his son shared for a quality skatepark that was suitable for skaters of a high caliber.

‘I did it for my son and for all of you’
“I remember when I was there (at the temporary skatepark) getting an accommodation, a kid that was about 11 years old rode up to me on his scooter and asked me if I was (responsible) for this and why I did it. And, I responded, ‘I did it for my son and for all of you,” Vaughn said, adding that he wouldn’t stop until there was something in the Santa Clarita area on par with his and his son’s vision of a skatepark. “They thought that would satisfy me, but they clearly didn’t know me.”

And now, after another handful of years of working with two different county supervisors, meeting a number of design companies, and over 12 years after his son first asked him why he didn’t have a skatepark in his area, the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new skatepark facility is scheduled for Feb. 27.

“It’s pretty amazing after this really long process,” Garrett said over a phone call Wednesday. “I grew up skating, and now there’s a spot in my hometown … it’s a dream come true.”

“I’m glad that I was able to do something not only for my son but all the kids,” Lance said.

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