Grand opening of Píinu Núuchí Skate Park  

Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Councilmember, Nate Hendren does a 50-50 Grind down a concrete slide during the Grand Opening Event of the PÍINU NÚUCHI Skate Park on Friday, Oct. 29.
Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Councilmember, Elijah Weaver welcomes all the guests, skaters and tribal dignitaries to the Grand Opening of the PÍINU NÚUCHI Skate Park on Friday, Oct. 29.
Oscar Cosio provided the music for the Grand Opening event and later in the afternoon led a class from the Southern Ute Boys and Girls Club in a dance break, where they performed Michael Jackson's ‘Thriller.’
Cyrus Naranjo shows off his well-honed skateboarding skills during the Grand Opening of the PÍINU NÚUCHI Skate Park on Friday, Oct. 29.
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum

The Píinu Núuchí Skate Park’s Grand Opening event was held on Friday, Oct. 29 in Ignacio. The Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council (SCSYAC) invited the community out to celebrate at the Píinu Núuchí Skate Park alongside the Southern Ute Tribal Council, Executive Office, Tribal Housing, Tribal Planning, Property and Facilities, the Education Department and SunUte Community Center who all worked with the Youth Council to bring the skate park to life.  

  “Now that we are officially opened to the public it seems to be a welcomed distraction for some and a place to hangout for most,” SCSYAC and Youth Program coordinator, Dustin Weaver stated.  

The skatepark is a state-of-the-art park. It was designed to accommodate beginner skaters all the way up to advanced skaters. The park has all the features and elements the SCSYAC planned for including: a few bowls, walls, rails, pipes, and ample surface to skate on. Over the past 10 years, the skate park has been in planning stages.  

The current youth council began hosting planning meetings in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic all those plans were slowed down. “COVID put a stop to all the youth council’s regular meeting but we were able to have special meetings which helped us to focus on the skate park project and all the details,” Weaver explained. “When the park was finished and ready to open, the Tribe was still in a stay-at-home order but the youth council and some friends were allowed to have the first ride — it was great. 

The skate park has been open for use since April 2021, but was never officially given a grand opening event. The Youth Council worked with SunUte Community Center to provide a proper opening celebration. Live music, public remarks, a catered lunch and free goodie bags were given away to the guests. 

 “Being here [at Píinu Núuchí Skate Park] makes me so happy, seeing this all come together makes me so proud of what we as youth have done,” SCSYAC member, Nate Hendren stated.  

The skate park is currently open; and can be used by anyone who is going to respect the rules posted and keep the facility drug and alcohol free. Current COVID-19 restrictions are in place at the skate park for the safety of all who visit. “Masks must be worn at all times while at the park and please remember to practice social distancing while skating,” Weaver said. While the skate park and the Tribe remain in Phase II “Safer at Home”, Level 2 the community is invited to utilize the park as long as they are following the posted park rules and COVID-19 limitations. 

Keeping culture in mind and paying homage to their roots, the youth council voted to name the skatepark “Piinu Nucchi.” The name was decided upon during a special meeting held in May of 2021. Youth leaders listened to their peers and worked tirelessly to complete the skate park project.  

“This project not only makes me proud, but as a skater myself I am so stoked to have a skate park this nice in my own town and reservation,” Baker stated. Keeping the skate park open and safe is the most important thing to the youth council at this time.  

Call SunUte at 970.563.0214 to report any problems with the skatepark. 

Call SUPD at 970.563.0225 if you need police assistance. 

Call 911 immediately if there is an emergency. 

 

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