By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer
(March 16, 2023) The skateboard wheels are in motion in Berlin.
Last Tuesday, representatives from the nonprofit We Heart Berlin briefed the Berlin Parks Commission on the progress toward a town skate park, which is quickly headed toward the design phase.
We Heart Berlin’s Brian Robertson said the nonprofit has contracted the services of the California design company Spohn Ranch, which led to the company coming to Berlin and to assess the feasibility of multiple locations.
“Spohn had the design aesthetic we were looking for that takes into consideration the environment,” Roberston said. “It’s not just a skate park, it’s a gathering space and there’s green space added in.”
Robertson said the review considered accessibility, visibility, environmental impact, design canvas, amenities and infrastructure, barriers to shovel-ready, ADA compliance, operational maintenance, stormwater management, utilities, topography and geotechnical costs.
The next step in the process will be providing We Heart Berlin with feedback and in turn, the nonprofit would again brief the Parks Commission. After that, the project will be in the town’s hands and the actual design phase can begin.
We Heart Berlin President and CEO Tony Weeg said the organization should have the report by this Friday.
Roberston added that findings will include a recommendation for a park location, leavng it up to the town and Parks Commission to weigh the input and make the ultimate decision.
Spohn Ranch will also conduct an online survey.
We Heart Berlin plans to raise awareness at upcoming local events with booths at upcoming events such as the upcoming Berlin Spring Celebration and Berlin Jazz, Blues, Wine & Brews later this spring.
Commission member Bruce Hyde asked if the design will consider future expansion, as well as the unique stormwater needs of the coastal town.
“I told the guy I need (him) to look at this as an artistic stormwater management system that looks like a skate park,” Weeg joked.
“No matter where we put it, we’re going to have to put down dirt because the water table will actually push a bowl out of the dirt.”