The Apache Project teams up with Tony Hawk’s foundation to bring a world-class skatepark to Arizona
Professional skater Doug Miles Jr. has prided himself on helping those less fortunate than himself. In doing so, he started the Apache Passion Project, a group that raises funds for the construction of new skateparks and skate facilities on Native American reservations. Miles Jr.’s brand, “Apache Skateboards” has been working on The Apache Project for years, and only recently did they receive some incredible news. Tony Hawk’s foundation, The Skatepark Project reached out to Miles Jr. and his team to announce they will be helping the Apache Passion Project fulfil their vision and bring their ideas into existence. The Skatepark Project, formed in 2002 by Tony Hawk, aimed to help build safe, quality spaces for skaters, who otherwise would have felt trapped or shunned to skate in their own communities. Hawk’s nonprofit has awarded more than $10 million to more than 600 public skatepark projects all over the country. Out of the 600 partners to The Skatepark Project, 575 of them have opened their skateparks to the public.
Doug moved to Whitewater, AZ with his wife and kids in 2019. There, he witnessed young skaters riding on the foundation of a house yet to be built. He contacted the White Mountain Apache tribal council about the possibility of raising money for an updated skatepark, but his claims brought forth little attention. The tribal council did not see the value in spending reservation money on skateparks when there were more important uses for the funds. With this news, he set off on his own to raise the money for his passion and his community. Miles Jr. formed a GoFundMe page for the mission with a goal to raise $3,000. Using tools available in his community and on social media, word spread like wildfire. The Apache Project has raised over $50K since the page’s inception in November of 2020. These funds will kickstart the groundbreaking process while The Skatepark Project will fund the rest. Miles Jr. and The Skatepark Project are working out the metrics for the development of a skatepark that will transform Whiteriver’s current park from a collection of man-made obstacles into a first-class location. It is expected that it will cost anywhere between $50K-$300K to complete the project. Doug Miles Jr.’s dreams of bringing a skatepark to his people are coming to fruition. After years of hard work, dedication, passion, and grassroots outreach, The Apache Project is on their way to acquiring worldwide recognition and support from the skating industry and the Apache community. Skateboarding still stands on the outskirts of professional sports, but over the past few decades we’ve witnessed the skating community grow and prosper to a new level. Moving forward, it’ll be stories like these that bring the industry of extreme sports to an even bigger world stage.