It can take two people to get in and out of the bowl at Laramie’s skatepark in wintry conditions. The threat of slipping on the smooth, frozen concrete lurking below fresh flakes is a constant for the volunteers shoveling and launching snow over the coping. 

Thomas Mazzetti, one such volunteer clearing the park on Dec. 23, found his winning strategy for staying vertical was to actively try to slide through the smooth contours, especially through the full pipe.

“So you expect it,” he said. 

Even if it means spending  hours hauling heavy snow across 15,000 square feet of slick concrete, volunteers have been showing up for at least nine years to help clear the frozen debris from the LaBonte Skate Park, according to Josh Kaffer. 

  • Josh takes a running start to push the snow over the lip of the concrete bowl

Kaffer has led advocacy efforts on behalf of the park in the last few years, and said the recently formed nonprofit Skate Laramie — also known around town as Friends of Laramie Skatepark — delivered a trailer with on-site equipment like shovels and brooms for volunteers to use. 

A snow-free skatepark by Christmas is the goal each year, Kaffer said.

“Typically if we can do that, it is significantly easier to keep it clear all winter and of course more fun for anyone getting new equipment for the holidays,” he wrote in an email, noting that a core group has kept it clear this year. 

After the snow is shoveled, swept into piles and launched out of the bowl, the sun gets to work drying the concrete to make it clear for skating — or even walking.

Madelyn Beck reports from Laramie on health and public safety. Before working with WyoFile, she was a public radio journalist reporting for NPR stations across the Mountain West, covering regional issues...

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  1. For My Fellow Wyoming Citizens

    On Tuesday November 8th, 2022 the Citizens of Wyoming spoke clearly to whom they want to represent them in the Capitol Building and in Washington DC.

    For the United States House of Representatives the top vote getter was Harriet Hageman from Cheyenne to get the job.

    For Secretary of State the top vote getter was Chuck Gray from Casper to get the job. Good luck on hand counting the votes!

    And the winner was the American People and Liz Cheney. Representative Cheney clearly made her case to the American voters of the dangerous a threat Donald J Trump is to our Constitutional Government. This led to the defeat of the deniers and extremist from getting a foothold across the country in local, state and national office. Except here in Wyoming. Guess we still have not got the message!

    Charles Randolph Wheatland Wyoming