Jeff Ament at a skatepark with kids
Ament wants to give young people a place to gather and build community. (Photo: Whitney Williams)

Forces of Good: Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament Is on a Mission to Build Havens for Young Skateboarders

Jeff Ament at a skatepark with kids

In recent years, rock-star bassist Jeff Ament has dedicated himself to developing world-class skateboarding parks in the rural American West, particularly in his home state of Montana. For him, the point isn’t just to create concrete playgrounds so kids have somewhere to rip: he wants to give young people in small towns similar to the one he grew up in a place to gather and build community. This is desperately needed. America’s youth are facing a mental health crisis that was in the making long before the pandemic caused depression and anxiety to spike. What kids in small towns could use now more than ever is real-life human connection—and as Ament tells it, this happens best in a space that they can call their own.

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, and have since expanded our show to offer a range of story formats, including reports from our correspondents in the field and interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and the outdoors.