Phoenix District 5 Councilwoman Betty Guardado, center with scissors, was joined by Solano Elementary School students, Parks staff, Cowtown S.K.A.T.E. leadership and others at a celebration of the new skate plaza at Solano Park (photo by Kathryn M. Miller).

The community came together Sept. 18 to celebrate improvements to Solano Park — in particular a new skate plaza.

Since December 2022, the park has been undergoing extensive improvements, including the new skate park, pickleball courts and a resurfaced basketball court. But there is still work to do. The City of Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture will be adding a skateable art feature, “Pipe Dreams,” to the center of the skate plaza. The feature is expected to be completed in early 2024.

At the celebration event, Phoenix District 5 Councilwoman Betty Guardado thanked the many entities involved, including Laura and Trent Martin from Cowtown Skateboards, Shannon McBride of 19North, the Parks & Recreation Department, Osborn School District Superintendent Michael Robert, and especially the Solano Elementary students, who were in attendance and will keep the park activated.

“I know that this park has been challenging at different moments,” Guardado said, “but it’s been very exciting to see everyone out here playing pickleball…I see the kids out here skating. It’s very exciting and it warms my heart every single time that we’re able to activate a park.”

Phoenix Parks and Recreation Director Cynthia Aguilar also thanked the children at the event and encouraged them to share their ideas on other amenities that they would like to see at parks.

“Tell your parents, tell your teachers, tell your superintendent…they will get the information to us and we would love to continue putting things in this park that will bring you here to enjoy a safe park,” Aguilar said.

Also in attendance, Trent Martin spoke on behalf of Cowtown S.K.A.T.E. foundation, which was instrumental in bringing the skate plaza to fruition. The foundation, founded by Martin and his wife Laura, also in attendance, is the philanthropic arm of Cowtown Skateboards, a skate shop founded locally in 1997 by Phoenix skateboarders.

“Our whole mission is expanding access to skateboarding for children, adults, everybody,” Martin said. “Just the mental, physical and social, health, well-being, all the benefits that it provides.”

The foundation has worked with the City of Phoenix extensively, Martin added, “It’s really exciting that they believe in our mission of expanding access to skateboarding. We approached them with other community members from the area probably five years ago and they were receptive to it and wanted to have a skate park in central Phoenix. Here is where we decided, with the community, and we’re really happy that this is here.”

After addressing the crowd, Martin drew raffle tickets and presented two excited kids with brand-new Cowtown skateboards.

Solano Park is located at 5625 N. 17th Ave. The park is easily accessible from light rail and other public transportation options. Learn more at


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