When Terri Nostrand appeared before a Brookland community meeting on June 21 to pitch a skate park, she brought with her all the right credentials: She lives in the area, teaches at Coolidge High School, and has her students lining up to help build the park on a vacant piece of crumbling asphalt at 10th and Shepherd Streets NE. In addition, she has gathered $21,000 in grant money from the Tony Hawk Foundation and a division of a forestry foundation to build the park entirely from recycled materials. But residents denounced the proposal, citing among the factors, their desire to keep the decrepit lot as is. “Young people can use that [lot] as an area for growth and development,” says Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Mary Currie. When asked to elaborate on the lot as teaching tool, Currie explained that the aged blacktop makes an ideal terrain on which to ride bikes and jump rope.

—Jason Cherkis