July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 42

SHREDDING THE DIVIDE
Why Skate Parks?
According to Darren Flusche, Montgomery
Parks' acting deputy director
for administration, it has everything
to do with the changing needs of the
county. Skate parks appeal to teens,
young adults, working-age adults,
and even some older adults who grew
up skating and never stopped, or are
starting up again. These groups are
growing in Montgomery County's
population, as shown in the PROS
Plan, and while skate parks are especially
appealing to teens, that appeal
is not exclusive to teens.
" The county's parks need to
evolve and skate parks appeal to
such a broad array of people, " says
Flusche. " As a result, skate parks
must be designed with different
types of users in mind. "
In July 2023, Montgomery Parks
launched a countywide skate park
study (tinyurl.com/ywth6zrs) to find
out what makes for a great skate park,
including the types of features skaters
want and what else besides the skate
features should be there - restrooms,
food options and places for people
watching. To gather this information,
Montgomery Parks launched a survey
and turned to some nontraditional
methods of engagement to solicit
responses - like collaborations with
local skate influencers and getting its
mascot, Otus the Owl, involved. Otus
and his skateboard made appearances
at events, on social media and on
local TV newscasts to promote the
skate park survey.
The response to the survey was
overwhelmingly positive.
" We found that skateboarders
are really very eager to share their
ideas - we had over 700 survey responses
and many were from teens
- a tough age group to reach, "
says Melissa Chotiner, Montgomery
Parks community outreach and
engagement manager.
42 Parks & Recreation | JULY 2 0 2 4 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
An impressive 45 percent of
the respondents were between the
ages of 13 and 29. " Even though
skateboarding has been around for
many years, the sport is currently
experiencing a rise in popularity, "
adds Chotiner.
Montgomery Parks Trail Planner
Kyle Lukacs and his colleagues
crunched that survey's data. Lukacs,
a Montgomery County native
and skateboard enthusiast, occasionally
acts as Montgomery Parks'
mascot when Otus needs to perform
action-adventure activities, such as
skateboarding and parkour.
" Sometimes I can't believe I get
paid to put on an owl costume and
have so much fun, " Lukacs jokes.
Diving into the data, the team
found that the types of features respondents
requested often varied
by region of the county, by age and
by gender. There was general agreement
on some amenities, such as
the desire for a 10-foot-low flat rail,
which is good for beginners and
experts; easy-to-approach features;
and open space. Lukacs' big data
find was that " users want skate
parks to be more integrated into
the park setting. They don't want
to feel cast off. We don't fence off
playgrounds or basketball courts.
They're a part of the park. "
One survey response noted,
" Some of the most successful skate
parks in Europe are really integrated
into the environment. They look
pretty and provide ample seating for
anyone who would like to visit. "
Flusche reiterated the need to
make skate parks welcoming to
non-skaters
and holistically designed.
" We want to create an area
for social gathering, social connectivity.
Nothing attracts people like
people, " he says. " People watching
is part of it. It's good to have a
space for spectators. "
A Place for All
One of the driving visions for the new
skate parks is the urban design concept
of " placemaking, " a process in
which the community takes part to
reimagine and renovate public spaces.
" Not all spaces are equal. We want
to create places where people want
to spend time, places that are identified
with a specific location and community.
We're looking to serve teens
well, " says Flusche. " Teens want
something to do where they can feel
safe and be around other teens. Wellplanned
parks can do that. "
Montgomery Parks' goal is to make
the new skate parks unique places
that cater to their users' interests.
Most survey respondents preferred
a street-/urban-/plaza-style
park, while the classic bowl style
was also a popular choice.
Younger skaters (ages 5-12) liked
the Vert style - vertical walls and
other curved features - best, while
the older crowd (older than 30) preferred
the Snake Run style - paths
that allow riders to cruise rather
than doing tricks; more advanced
skaters favored the Vert, Snake Run,
and Flow - an overall functionality
of elements providing skaters with
freedom to create lines.
An older survey taker noted, " beginner
obstacles end up being the
obstacles that us older skaters gravitate
toward. Smaller ledges, mini
ramps, ride-on grinds, stuff like
that, where the little kids and old
duffers can shred on. "
Female survey respondents
showed they were more likely to
use scooters, inline skates or roller
skates and preferred a large,
smooth, flat ground area for warming
up and practicing new skills.
Where It Began
Skateboarding originated in the
1950s in California and Hawaii, with
http://tinyurl.com/ywth6zrs

July 2024 – Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July 2024 – Parks & Recreation

July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Intro
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover1
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover2
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 1
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 2
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 3
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 4
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 5
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 6
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 7
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 8
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 9
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 10
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 11
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 12
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 13
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 14
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 15
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 16
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 17
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 18
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 19
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 20
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 21
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 22
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 23
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 24
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 25
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 26
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 27
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 28
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 29
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 30
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 31
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 32
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 33
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 34
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 35
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 36
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 37
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 38
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 39
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 40
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 41
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 42
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 43
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 44
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 45
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 46
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 47
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 48
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 49
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 50
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 51
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 52
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 53
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 54
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 55
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 56
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover3
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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