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Organic Debris

Skateboarding doesn’t mix well with pebbles and twigs. Small bits of debris can bring a skateboard to a screeching halt and send its rider flying. These “tripping hazards” are widely accepted as inherent risks by skaters, but efforts should be made to keep the skatepark free of these nuisances.

Most skaters habitually toss or kick pebbles and twigs out of popular lines through the skating area whenever it’s convenient. (Some skaters even bring brooms with them to those parks known for their accumulations of debris.) Through this practice, the park is kept reasonably clear of tripping hazards. The Parks Department should periodically blow the park completely clear of pebbles, twigs, and dirt.

The most common and most manageable form of tripping hazard comes from nearby shrubs and trees. Trees that cast shade on the facility are common culprits. Pine trees deposit a bed of needles and, seasonally, a layer of pollen. Cottonwoods can coat a skatepark in billows of seed casings. Even low-lying shrubs can become a nuisance. Organic debris is not such a major concern that trees should be removed or skateparks located away from them, but it may impact the routine maintenance regimen, particularly in those seasons where the deposits are most prevalent.

Pea gravel and crushed rock are absolutely inappropriate for ground cover edging a skatepark. These tiny rocks are mobile and almost seemed designed to stop skateboards. Gravel is so effective at preventing safe skateboarding that some skatepark builders sprinkle it in areas of the park that are not ready for people to skate on. A better option for creating non-skating areas adjacent to a skatepark is by using rough Roman pavers (or paver blocks for a more permeable solution). The rough surface discourages skateboarding and will help reduce unwanted debris from creeping into the skating area.

Leaves can plug drains at the bottom of bowls. Drains should be kept clear.

Many Parks Departments enlist volunteers (often members of the skatepark advocacy committee) to remove debris from the park.