DES MOINES, Iowa — Lauridsen Skatepark, the largest skatepark in America, turns one year old on Saturday, and children in the metro received a birthday present for the occasion.

Skate DSM handed out 250 free skateboards and helmets at Stone Park for its “Get On Board” campaign Friday afternoon. It plans to hand out another 250 at Lauridsen Skatepark itself during its anniversary celebration Saturday.

Virginia Lauridsen is the philanthropist behind both the skate park and the skateboard giveaway. She said she is enthusiastic to watch Iowa’s children pick up a hobby like skateboarding.

“It teaches kids about perseverance, because you fall down a lot and have to get up and try again,” Lauridsen said. “There’s a wonderful sense of community where the older kids mentor the younger kids, where they all learn to work together. It gets them outside and off of their screens to do something athletic.”

Lauridsen plans to repeat the skateboard giveaway next year, and is considering endowing the event to make it an annual Des Moines tradition going forward.