Main Street Portsmouth (MSP), the Portsmouth Shade Tree Commission, and Portsmouth Skate Park Project recently grouped together to replant small trees and shrubs that will grow to add color to the skate park.
They planted 12 Leland Cypress, five Mock Orange shrubs (donated by Daphne’s), four Arborvitae, three Weigelas, and two Crepe Myrtles.
“We had to be careful in our selection of plants to go on this site,” MSP founder and Shade Tree Commission Chair Sue Burke said. “We wanted to highlight features of the area, add color, and provide shade, while not planting something that will drop and leave problems for skaters. It was nice having help from the skate park and we know the area is in good hands, because they’re willing to put in the work to make their space nice.”
In a previous planting, shrubs were planted in locations that the Skate Park Project has plans for. Just west of the skate features, the group plans on installing a shelter to provide a meeting space and a break from the sun while skating. The groups worked together to create a new layout for the park and got to work.
“I think the proposed structure is a great idea to an already wonderful downtown asset,” MSP Director Joseph Pratt said. “I know that, when we planted the first time, it was peak heat in summer and skaters were using the half-pipe to shade themselves. I think the trees will help but I hope to see a structure added in coming years.”
Another positive feature the plants bring to the table is in how they’ll make an impact on the surrounding area, as they will soak up a lot of the water the City of Portsmouth has fought to keep at bay.
“The root system won’t completely solve the problem, obviously, Dr. Logan Minter of SSU and the Tree Commission said. “These shrubs will definitely help in absorbing water from unwanted places, however, which I know has been a concern.”
The skaters were seen with shovels and digging tools in hand, ready to spruce up their space.
“The skate park volunteer committee greatly appreciates the help from the Shade Tree Commission and Main Street Portsmouth,” Sarah Redoutey, of the Skate Park Project, said. “Getting these trees and shrubs in really makes our park look complete. We requested to move them to make space for a shelter. We are beginning fundraising efforts for this project. People are using the skate park for birthday parties, get togethers, and we have even had a few celebrations of life held there this past year. A shelter would provide a much-needed space for events, meal breaks and just getting some shaded relief for the skaters. If anyone is interested in helping with this project, don’t hesitate to reach out.”
You can contact Sarah Redoutey at [email protected]
Volunteers included Suzette Rhea, Janie Sharp, Sue Welty, Toni Dengel, Alice Spriggs, Eric Musser, Logan Minter, Joseph Pratt, Sue Burke, Brian Smith, Nick and Sarah Redoutey, Jessica Dunn, Matt and Meg Dingess
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