We’re fulfilling our mission through the advocacy and construction of the Blake Doyle Skatepark. Upward Intuition began in 2015 as a skatepark advocacy group. Pensacola has had a vibrant and growing skateboarding scene for over 40 years but is missing a location where skateboarders can safely do what they love.
We are committed to helping the youth gain confidence and life skills through advocacy and skateboarding and offering them facilities such as the Blake Doyle Skatepark where they can learn and grow.
After several years of “pounding the pavement,” the skatepark location is secured, funding is in place, and what started as just a skatepark has evolved into something much more. The final design for the skatepark will be finished in early ’21 followed by construction.
We made this video in 2018 for a grant offered by the Gannett Foundation called “A Community Thrives.” Our goal with the video was to show how skateboarding teaches resilience and how the Blake Doyle Skatepark will bring our broader community together. Upward Intuition was chosen as a winner and awarded $100,000 from the Gannett Foundation! These funds will go directly toward a section of the skatepark designed with beginner skaters in mind, which will promote and encourage early learning.
‘Forgotten Youth’ is a series of blog posts we wrote in early 2015 to identify a problem in our community and offer a solution in the form of a public skatepark. We wanted to shine some light on a vast and seemingly forgotten demographic. We pointed out that the City had 93 public parks filled with playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, and sports fields – but offered little for skateboarders, bladers, and bikers.
Perhaps because this more alternative group didn’t have a safe place to practice their chosen art form, they would take to the streets in search of new challenges. Skating in the streets is often illegal, and run-ins with property owners and the police become the norm. As a result, many of these kids begin to feel like outcasts and criminals. Sometimes, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where many of them end up becoming that.
A space where they were offered encouragement and guidance? What if they were celebrated instead of vilified? I believe the outcome would be different for a lot of kids.
Although the Blake Doyle Skatepark will be for people of all ages and interests, our primary focus is providing a safe, challenging, and positive space for our City’s ‘Forgotten Youth’ where they can learn and grow.
The Greenway is a public project extending 18 blocks under Interstate 110. The area has been mostly vacant and blighted since the Interstate was built in the late 70’s and over 30 blocks of homes were bulldozed.
The Greenway will reconnect the two neighborhoods providing a walkable, skateable, bikeable, art-filled corridor leading into Downtown Pensacola and the waterfront. It is also being designed to treat stormwater, as this area has historically been prone to flooding.
The HTW Greenway project is being managed by Escambia County and funded through “Restore” funds from the 2010 BP oil spill. The design team for the Greenway is led by HDR Engineering, the same firm that designed the Atlanta Beltline. The Beltline ultimately led to the connectivity and revitalization of many Atlanta neighborhoods.
We are thrilled that the skatepark will be part of the Hollice T Williams Greenway.
Although Upward Intuition begin in 2015, there have been groups pushing for a skatepark in Pensacola since the “Paved Wave” (Pensacola’s original skatepark) closed in the late 70’s. The Blake Doyle Skatepark will be a culmination of all those efforts.
The park will be designed for day-to-day skating and professional events, but will include additional areas focused on elements from general health, early learning, art, and music. There will be activities and amenities for people of all ages and interests, from children to seniors in the larger Hollice T Williams Greenway, that the skatepark will be located within.
Recently, Pivot Custom was hired to design the Blake Doyle Skatepark. PC recently designed and built the Lot 11 Skatepark under I-95 in Miami and has built incredible skateparks around the country.
“On this episode we chat with Jon Shell from Pensacola Florida. Jon’s work with Upward Intuition led to the making of a world class skatepark project. Learn how he turned a passion project into civic action and what’s helped him stay the course toward his goal of bettering the community in more ways than one.” -Tony Hawk Foundation