Seattle sued 35th North last year over the creation of the bowl on what the city calls a wildlife habitat.
The city of Seattle and the popular Capitol Hill skateboard shop, 35th North, have settled a civil suit filed by the city after a group of skateboarders built a small concrete skating bowl on Duck Island.
The bowl was built last year in response to a contest sponsored by Nike SB and TransWorld SKATEboarding Magazine challenging people to build a new skate park or add to an existing one.
The group of skateboarding aficionados who built the bowl videotaped themselves hauling concrete mix, tools, wood, rebar and other construction materials by boat to the island in Seattle’s Green Lake, mixing the concrete by hand, fashioning the bowl and then doing tricks on it.
The video was submitted for the contest by 35th North and won a prize, all before the bowl was noticed by any authorities.
But controversy erupted when the city’s Parks and Recreation Department was notified about the bowl in July.
The island, city officials said, has been considered a wildlife habitat and the city has always told people to stay away from it.
Seattle Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Rachel Schulkin said at the time that the department wanted the incident investigated, saying the damage to the island was “significant enough that we want the police involved. If a crime was committed, we’d like the people responsible to be held accountable.”
No criminal charges were filed; however, the city filed a lawsuit against 35th North and the unnamed creators of the bowl, seeking to recoup the amount of money spent removing the bowl and restoring what the city called an “environmentally critical area.”
Tony Croghan, the owner of 35th North, said that while his shop had not had any role in the construction of the bowl, he felt that settling with the city was the “right thing to do for the city and the skating community.”
He said the settlement repays the taxpayer dollars used to repair damage to the island and will allow the skaters who built it to get on with their lives.
“We felt it was our obligation to work on this as a member of the skateboard community and the business community,” Croghan said.
In a statement released Thursday, the city said the $30,000 fully covers the city’s “out of pocket costs to date and the estimated costs to restore the portion of the island damaged by the construction.”
The city also said that the Parks Department expects to complete the restoration effort on the island later this year.
“We take seriously our role as stewards of public lands, and are thankful for this swift resolution so that we can turn our focus to restoring this park space, which serves as a vital habitat for many local bird species,” said Christopher Williams, interim superintendent for Seattle Parks and Recreation.
Croghan said that as a lifelong resident of Seattle, he had always thought of the island as a place young people went to party and he originally thought, upon seeing the video, that “it was a great story how they did it so quickly and skillfully and right under everybody’s nose.”
But, he said, “What’s most important to me is that people know I love this city and wanted to do whatever I could to make this a better situation for everybody.”
While he hasn’t communicated much with the people who built the bowl, he said he’s heard word that they’re grateful to him and his shop for working it out.
“I’m satisfied with the outcome,” he said. “The store will be fine, the kids who did it can move on and I think we can all be assured there will not be another skate bowl built on that island again.”