Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament is helping to fund a new skateboard park in Stevensville, Montana. The community was initially raising the $60,000 needed to kickstart the project with bake sales, raffles and Valentine’s Day roses, but after visiting the proposed site on Friday, Ament stepped in with a promise to pay for the bowl section of the park.
"[Ament] basically gave us permission to shout it from the rooftops. He is behind the project money-wise. He wants to build a bowl unlike anything that's been seen in Montana before," the proposed skateboard park's co-chairman Raymond Smith told the Ravalli Republic. "He fell in love with the location. He kept looking at the mountains. He said he wanted to skate here."
The park is the latest in the bassist's efforts to bring the communities of Montana skateboard parks. To raise money for Pearl Jam's Vitalogy Foundation, $2 from every concert ticket the band sells goes toward their non-profit organization, which in turn benefits groups handpicked by Pearl Jam members that are "doing commendable work in the fields of community health, the environment, arts & education and social change."
With Ament's slice of the donations, the bassist has set his sights on providing communities with the gift of skateboard parks. His efforts began in 1992 when the band helped re-sheet some skate parks in Seattle. Since then, Ament has helped fund skateboard parks throughout his native Montana, including Missoula, Great Falls and Polson. Most recently, Ament was at the opening of another park he helped build, the Blackfoot Skatepark in Browning, Montana.
"I think it's one of the greatest donated gifts the Blackfeet have ever received," Blackfeet Tribe secretary Tyson Running Wolf told the Great Falls Tribune at that park's opening in November 2014. "It integrates our community park and we plan on further expanding the park. Pearl Jam is so generous to help the Blackfeet people."