4DWN skatepark. (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

East Dallas neighbor Mike Crum will turn part of his skate park into an urban farm to combat the food desert in South Dallas.

Crum and his partner Rob Cahill opened the nonprofit skatepark 4DWN in 2016 with the goal of using skateboarding to foster growth and opportunity for youth in the community. The park includes an indoor street course, an outdoor course, a bowl and a mini ramp. But 4DWN is more than just a skate park. Crum, a former pro skater, sees the space as a community center where artists, athletes and neighbors can connect.

Located in South Dallas, the founders have taken the next step to transform the park into an urban farm. Through a partnership with Restorative Farms, 4DWN will produce 240 grow boxes for the neighborhood. The boxes are made simply — under two minutes — from wooden pallets and filled with nutrient-rich soil that can grow fresh food for the community.

“As we’ve gotten more active in the community, we’ve come to find out we’re in the middle of a food desert, which is an area that doesn’t have access to fresh, healthy food,” Cahill said. “Us being skaters, we said, ‘Hey, what can we do about that?’ Let’s integrate urban farming into the skate park.”

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