project leader
Raja F
(Bexley Community)
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the project

My name is Raja Freeman. I am a 21-year-old poet and aspiring community leader. I am working with South Euclid City Councilwoman Sara Continenza and the Bexley Community Group to expand our pump track area at Bexley Park so that the younger population of South Euclid can have somewhere we can go where we can hang out and be ourselves. On the north side of the park, there is an underutilized bicycle pump track. We would like to pave this track and add some ramps and jumps. This could be used for bicycles, skateboards, scooters and more!

The revitalized skate park will be a sanctuary for youth. This will be a space for recreation and active living in our community at a time when outdoor, pandemic-friendly activities are limited. Even though South Euclid offers vibrant youth programming through MyCom and other partnerships, we don't have a recreation center or any businesses where youth can hang out. Even before the pandemic, summertime was rife with idle teens hanging out in parks and causing disruptions, and the situation has worsened with the pandemic and lockdown. There always hangs a "No Loitering" sign in our Bexley Park pavilion, aimed at keeping youth from hanging out in the pavilion. More and more neighbors complain of youth-related disturbances. Now, this sign is joined by a "Pavilion Closed" sign. Our new skate park will be a welcoming, safe place to convene, as it is outdoors, no equipment will be shared, and it is spacious enough that youth can adhere to social distancing.

Due to the stress and uncertainty created by the pandemic and lockdown, anxiety, depression, suicide, drug usage, and overdoses have been on the rise. This project provides us a unique opportunity to support the social, emotional, and developmental wellness of our community at an affordable cost. We will engage the youth in the community in the planning and execution of this project so that what we do reflects their interests. This is a way to help enhance public health in our community, especially since it will be an area conducive to social distancing guidelines set during the COVID-19 pandemic and any pandemics that may occur in the future. It is outdoors, spacious, and features a lovely tree canopy to cleanse the air and offer shade.  Areas like this are important in unprecedented times such as these because there are currently very few opportunities to do so. 

We have several strategic partnerships to make this project a success. We are working with the City of South Euclid, OneSouthEuclid, and the Bexley Community Group. This will allow us to share resources to sustain and develop our project, and to secure the space. We believe that by engaging young residents in the planning of the park, and demonstrating that their voices matter, they will have an inspiration to nurture this new asset. Through this community-supporting initiative, we will be able to creatively respond to the growing need for youth activities in our City.

the steps

We will engage a group of neighborhood youth in small focus groups to gain their buy-in on this project. This engagement will occur in October 2020. We will make sure to reflect their goals and ideas into the overall design of the project. The plan will feature resurfacing an existing, underutilized dirt bicycle pump track to allow for skating, all types of bicycles, scooters, and more. We will add ramps and more based on the goals of the youth we engage with. Once we have our plan drafted, we will work in partnership with the City of South Euclid and OneSouthEuclid to send out an RFP and hire a contractor who will implement the construction of the project by November 2020. 

why we're doing it

Right now South Euclid has a number of community resources, but most of them were created with South Euclid's senior and younger children and families in mind. There isn't a recreation center in the City, and there aren't many teen-centered areas in the city. Growing up in South Euclid I can remember there not being a lot of places to go. Now, due to the pandemic, baseball is canceled, parks are closed to organized activities and school is remote. Numerous residents who live near the park have recently reported an uptick in adolescent crime on their streets. When I was a youth at Brush High School, we weren't allowed to stay in the school building when school let out, we couldn't talk too loud in the library, and there weren't many sit down spots available outside of those. I've seen students sitting on the curb finishing the leftovers from their lunches because there wasn't anywhere else to go. I've watched skateboarders having to walk their boards home because there wasn't enough room for them to ride on the crowded sidewalk. I've seen a South Euclid Police Officer approach a group of students because they stopped to talk on a street corner where they had to part ways and had become loiterers in the process. I truly believe that working with youth to create new opportunities in our park will reduce these tensions between officers and youth because there will be things to do besides hanging out in busy City centers. We need more spaces in South Euclid that are useful and inviting places for them to socialize and have fun safely.  That is why we need this skatepark. It will be a much-needed space for the youth, by the youth. 


Disbursed budget 4.5.2021:

Asphalt: $6,000

Signage: $292

Thanks to the City, who will donate more money towards this project to realize its completion.  

Total = $6,292, Total to be disbursed

TOTAL RAISED = $6,400.00
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $108.00

Original Budget: 

Machine Operators $8,000
Equipment rental, fuel, delivery, insurance $2,000
Travel, Meals $250
Asphalt: purchase & delivery $6,000
Signage: $250
Bench: $500
Total $ 17,000

ioby Platform Fee     waived
"ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) (Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)"    $434
TOTAL TO RAISE =    $17,434
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.      


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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Mark & Yvonne S.
  • Laura S.
  • Kim Scott
  • Keith Allison
  • Anonymous
  • Mike & Karen Barson
  • Christine McIntosh
  • Bexley neighbor
  • Salerno Family
  • Laurie Albright
  • Jennifer P.
  • Anonymous
  • Sara Continenza
  • One South Euclid
  • One South Euclid
  • Anonymous
  • Pat H.
  • Katie G.
  • Lori K.
  • Green Family
  • Emily L.
  • develin r.
  • Anonymous
  • Sherry Greenberg
  • Jean .
  • Matthew O.
  • Anonymous
  • Georgine W.
  • Carlin-Gray
  • Joe F.
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Keith A.
  • Kimberly F.
  • Tiana W.
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