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Re: "A More Complex Skatepark" (Oct. issue)

Spohn’s article is interesting and, in my opinion, fundamentally correct. Landscape architects are indeed often asked to produce skateparks in greater numbers than ever before.

As a skateboarder of 20 plus years (even through the lean 80s) I am thrilled to have choices when it comes to terrain. Up until just a few short years ago skaters had to skate where they would be least likely to be busted or…more often the case…skate until they felt that they’d pushed their luck.

Now skaters can choose where they want to skate. Like restaurants, proper skateparks each have a character all their own. When I am bored with one facility I can visit another with different features and surroundings.

Unfortunately what I don’t see in the example pictures is that unique character that is so vital to a sustainable play environment. Where are the places to sit when it’s time to take a break? Where is the shade? Where is the “design” of the place? What the example pictures show is not a skate place but a designated facility for skateboarding…about as charmless and exclusive to remove the “public” in public park.

Landscape architects should be wary of skateparks that look like a few charmless ramps on top of a slab of concrete. A skatepark should be designed with the same expectation of excellence that landscape architects would put to any other part of a public space…invite active and passive participation, make the place pleasing for everyone, and take some pride in the structures. To me, those ramps look like playground equipment. I don’t see a “place” for skateboarders.

Peter Whitley
Art Director
Wizards of the Coast
Tacoma, Wash.






Re: "A More Complex Skatepark" (Oct. issue)

I have an axe to grind, admittedly, but I would like to point out that Mr. Spohn’s statement…”tough composite surface material called Skatelite Pro, a fabrication formula that has proved to be best for harsh condition durability and low maintenance” does not ring true.

When looking for the “best,” why not go with modular concrete like my company manufacturers? It will last many times longer than Skatelite Pro and has no maintenance.

Kim Peacock
Sales Director
Solo Ramps
Nicolet, Quebec, Canada






Re news item on landscapeonline.com: "New Orleans Swamps Become Dumping Grounds"

Thank You for your excellent article! I have been waiting for weeks for the press to begin coverage of this issue. It needs to be said again and again until everyone understands the importance of landfill safety--even those who don’t read the newspaper. It’s not an easy obstacle to overcome but awareness is the first step. Well done!

Elisa Moore
Co-Owner
Moore & Associates
Melbourne, Fla.






Re Ordinance column (Nov. issue)

I teach Lighting for crime prevention to crime prevention officers. Of the three cities cited, only one even mentions lighting in parking facilities. Too often there is no correlation in city codes. This frequently results in the foliage completely enveloping the lighting system after a few years of growth. A comment I use is, “Trees grow, light poles do not.” Thank you for this opportunity to comment.

Theodore Ake, IESNA, VCPA
Blacksburg, Va.






Re "New Notes on Landscape Laws," by Buck Abbey, ASLA, in Nov. issue (also on landscapeonline.com (search "Red Hook")):

The Red Hook Village, N.Y., tree ordinance (news item) used the accompanying photograph that documents the worldwide scourge of mounding up mulch to the detriment of any tree so mulched. LASN could do our industry and trees a great service it if would carry out an editorial campaign against this practice. The citizens of Red Hook Village would be well advised to prohibit mulch mounding in their new tree ordinance.

Wil Gates, ASLA
Gates, Leighton & Assoc., Inc.
East Providence, R.I.






Email re: publisher's commentary on New Orleans (Sept. issue)

The process of dredging sand from several sources around the Big Easy and filling in portions of the city seems like just too easy a fix. It would especially be applicable for the Ninth Ward where many want to return that neighborhood into a wetland because of its elevation and deteriorated homes. I'd start filling and rebuilding there and move outward into other neighborhoods.

I am the source of that current idea, although that same concept has been batted around for years by others. There have been other portions of towns and citites raised above flood waters with fill material (e.g., Galveston Island, Texas and our district is proceeding with a project in Kentucky that will eventually accomplish the same result (town raised above flood waters) using excavated rock. See martinredevelopment.com (the project website).

Keep publishing good material about landscape architecture.

R. Gus Drum
Community Planner
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
Huntington District





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December 14, 2019, 8:46 am PDT

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