Feature Article - February 2010
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Riding High

Getting Skateparks Done Right

By Stacy St. Clair


Portland Parks & Recreation made a commitment to design and build the most environmentally friendly skateparks in the world. Here's how they say they've gone about accomplishing that goal:

  • Treating the stormwater runoff with environmentally sustainable methods.
  • Incorporating "fly ash" in the concrete mix. Fly ash is a byproduct of coal combustion that is typically considered a waste product. However, when added to concrete mixes, it makes for a stronger concrete end product with tighter consolidation.
  • Using recycled crushed concrete for a base rock under the concrete.
  • Use of Forest Stewardship Council certified wood products for framing of concrete forms.
  • Balanced cut and fill to reduce off-site hauling which will save energy and landfill space.
  • A desire to incorporate reused or recycled materials—jersey barriers, wheel stops, steel, non-perfect granite, etc.
  • Use of locally produced or manufactured materials.
  • A requirement for separation of recyclable materials from construction waste.
  • Use of native vegetation for stormwater treatment and shade.
  • Inclusion of interpretive signage to explain these measures.
  • Limiting the construction area to reduce compaction of existing landscapes.
  • Preservation of existing trees.
  • Strict requirements to prevent sediment transport and erosion.
  • Supplemental watering to reduce airborne particulates, e.g., dust.
  • Strict adherence to the current salmon-safe pesticide usage and application process.