Bringing Back the Legend

History

Surfin' Turf

Skateboard Park

Turf Skatepark (also known as “Surfin’ Turf” or “The Turf”) is a former skatepark located in Greenfield, WI. The Turf was an indoor/outdoor facility consisting of five sculptured concrete pools providing some of the best terrain of its time.

The Turf included five sculptured concrete pools:

  • The Lip Slide Gully: 4-ft deep pool, with a gradual 30-ft entry to a shallow pool
  • The Footie Bowl: 5-ft deep, 23-ft diameter pool with a comma-shaped roll-in, the transition was similar to mini ramps
  • The Triple Pool (aka The Clover): 3 connecting bowls (one 4-ft deep and two 8-ft deep) with concrete coping and ceramic tile
  • The Key Hole Pool: 10-ft deep, 23-ft diameter with concrete coping and ceramic tile
  • The Half Pipe Capsule: 11 to 13 ft deep with 1 to 3 feet of vertical

Originally opened in 1979 as Surfin’ Turf near Interstate 894 and West Loomis Road, this unique indoor skatepark consisted of in-ground concrete pools for riding skateboards. It closed in 1982 and the building was repurposed , though the pools remained intact under the floor.

In 1987, the original owners of the skatepark  reacquired the building and reopened it for skateboarding as The Turf. At that time, it was one of only a handful of skateparks left in the U.S., and the only indoor skatepark in the country. It attracted professional and amateur skateboarders from around the world. In 1995, as skating transitions lost popularity, the owners filled the bowls with gravel, covered the indoor portion of the park with concrete, and built a street course, hoping to make the park profitable once again. Unfortunately, in 1996 the Turf closed its doors for good.

In 2010, the State of Wisconsin acquired the property for use as a staging area during the construction of a new freeway ramp. Excavations in 2010 and 2019 revealed that the badly damaged bowls are still in place, filled with gravel. In 2019, the site of was aquired by the City of Greenfield as the site for the new skatepark.

The Future

The Turf - A New Skatepark

The “27th Street Business District” is a association of businesses that  supports the local community. They formed “The Turf Skatepark Association (TSA)” as the official fundraising group for the park. The TSA includes local business owners, people that skated the Turf, and government officials and staff. They are reaching out to young people through the local high schools, and to skateboarders in the greater Milwaukee area through social media.

This will be a free to use Greenfield public park, funded through private donations. It will attract skaters from all surrounding communities.  One of the primary goals is to preserve the history of the original Turf, but still create a modern park that today’s skaters want to skate. we would like this park to have more features and amenities than the typical neighborhood skate park. While the design needs to accommodate all levels, including beginners, it needs to be challenging and interesting enough to attract more experienced skaters.

The Future

Design Workshop 1

The City of Greenfield along with the 27th Street Business District hosted a design workshop on February 19, 2020 to get community input. They reached out out to young people through the local high schools, and to all skateboarders in the greater Milwaukee area through social media. Skatepark design  firm Grindline from Seattle Washington presented ideas and recieved feedback from the group. They will return later this spring to present a prelimiary design for the park.  

This will be a free to use Greenfield public park, funded through private donations. It will attract skaters from all surrounding communities.  One of the primary goals is to preserve the history of the original Turf, but still create a modern park that today’s skaters want to skate. We would like this park to have more features and amenities than the typical neighborhood skate park. While the design needs to accommodate all levels, including beginners, it needs to be challenging and interesting enough to attract more experienced skaters.

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