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Skateboarders test out new terrain features at City Plaza (photos)


Photos by Ty O’Neil

A handful of skateboarders on Thursday tested out new terrain placed on the concrete pad at Reno’s City Plaza.

Reno City Council members on Wednesday during a lunch break from their council meeting, unveiled new skate terrain installed at the plaza. Installation of the terrain was approved at the council’s Oct. 27 meeting.

Council member Devon Reese at the October meeting praised the plan as sensible since skateboarders were already using the plaza for recreation, and Council member Oscar Delgado called it a “no-brainer.”

Council member Jenny Brekhus, who has repeatedly advocated for thoughtful city and public planning that involves community input, objected to the inclusion of the skate terrain in a budget approval item as “buried into an augmentation by the manager’s discretion.”

She said the city manager’s use of executive authority to redesign the plaza was an overstep and that council members and the community should be involved in the process.

In a recent commentary, Reno historian Alicia Barber also criticized council members for approving the terrain unilaterally and without community input.

“The unilateral approach announces, ‘We’re turning the City Plaza into a skate park.’ A participatory approach would have said, ‘We’ve been approached about making the plaza a skate park. What do you think?’” Barber said.

City Parks and Recreation Director Jamie Schroeder described the terrain at the October meeting. A local designer created four terrain elements for the plaza, she said: a rainbow rail that represents the Truckee River, a flat rail, a manual pad or “manny pad” in the shape of Nevada, and “The Plaza Ledge.”

The terrain is on the pad where the ice rink had been located and steel barricades divide the terrain park from other parts of the plaza to protect pedestrians, according to Schroeder. All of the elements can be moved with a forklift for special events, she said.

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