If Brandon Mull has his way, Sapulpa could have a skatepark that not only dwarfs the largest skatepark in the country, it would be larger than the current largest skatepark in the world—by a lot.
“I figured, if we have the opportunity, let’s just shoot for the moon,” Mull says. “I want the guy who builds the next biggest skatepark to really have to sink a lot into it.”
The proposed skatepark would make use of a 15-acre section of land on south Hickory Street near a set of baseball fields across the street from the Salvation Army. The area is currently in a floodplain, and a skatepark is one of the few uses for the property that would make any sense. Proposed renderings show a fully-featured skatepark broken into four phases that include beginner, intermediate, and advanced sections, pump tracks, covered pavilions, covered seating, and plenty of parking.
Another major feature is the ease-of-access to the park through the City’s new walking trail system (still in development), which would allow children to get to the park without having to walk or ride next to a major thoroughfare like Hickory Street. That trail currently connects the east side of Hickory with Kelly Lane Park, but there are plans to extend it all the way out to Jefferson Heights Elementary.
Mull, who owns Water Street Tattoo in downtown Sapulpa, spent a lot of time between 1977 and 1991 on a skateboard, but then, as he put it, “life happened.” He says work, family, a desire to keep from injuring his hands—the primary way he made an income–all led to leaving that life behind. “I regret giving it up,” he said.
Mull says his original hometown of Henryetta outlawed skateboarding and would ticket anyone who rode a skateboard in town. Now, that town has a skatepark that’s a little bigger than the pump track park Sapulpa has at Kelly Lane. “I have been wanting a place to ride in my town for years,” Mull said.
Recently, though, he started skating with his kids again, and now he wants them to have some of those same great memories, and more. “This came about literally from my 10-year-old son Kieran and I just talking about skateparks,” he said. Then, he happened to mention in an interview with the Sapulpa Herald that he’d like to see Sapulpa get a larger skatepark. “The next day, someone from the Sapulpa Parks Board came by and asked to see me,” he said. “I thought, ‘Well, who did I make mad, now?’”
But the visit was a friendly one: Sapulpa Parks board member David Beyer told Mull that they’d been considering a skatepark for a while, but didn’t know if there was much public interest in it.
That was several weeks ago, and after several conversations, sketches, and renderings, Mull is now in fundraising mode. “Here we are,” he says.
Though the money still has to be raised from private donations, Mull has been given permission to start getting the story out in order to help raise awareness and funding. He says this new park could simultaneously be a great addition to the City while giving his children a place to make some great family memories. “It’s a lifelong dream come true,” he said.