Tuesday, December 15, 2009

daily snapshot: germantown skate spot

Germantown Skate Spot
While neighborhood opposition to a much-needed skate spot in Woodside Park's got Silver Spring skaters sidelined, their compadres in Germantown have been shredding the light fantastic.

Three weeks ago, the Upcounty Drop-In Skate Spot opened in Germantown Town Center - in the parking lot of Montgomery County's 5th District Police Station. The facility literally cost $1,000 to make and was built by the police officers themselves with metal supports and wooden boards. Concrete barriers are used to cordon the skate spot off from the rest of the parking lot, making it look very temporary. And it might just be if a permanent skatepark in Germantown gets the green light.

While the experts at Skaters for Public Skateparks would disagree with non-professionals designing and assembling a place where a somewhat-dangerous sport is practiced, it shows that once in a while MoCo can actually get shit done, and fast. And that should be an inspiration to everyone.

I stopped by the Upcounty Drop-In Skate Spot (only in Montgomery County can we come up with names like this) the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and there were easily twenty or thirty kids tearing it up there. Like Downtown Silver Spring, Germantown Town Center has had its share of tension over skaters in the business district, and a facility this small is unlikely to meet the local demand. But the skate spot is definitely a step in the right direction, and I'm looking forward to seeing one somewhere in Silver Spring.


Dug Ketterman said...

You should give the guys over at California Skateparks a buzz. They have been building all sorts of skatespots in LA, including The Berrics Rebuild, and am sure could get you going in the right direction.
Their website is www.californiaskateparks.com

Peter Whitley said...

This is what it's all about. On these smaller plots where there isn't a lot of traffic to manage, it's fair to build a few simple forms. The paramount goal is to engage your youth who would otherwise be skating in the street. And you certainly can't argue with the price. That's awesome.

Peter Whitley
Skaters for Public Skateparks