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  To create something exceptional, one’s mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.

Mary Soria

Landscape Designer

San Diego, California

Mary is a landscape designer who specializes in the design and development of skate parks all across the US and Canada. Mary values collaboration and community, and her goal is to ensure each park meets the needs of its end users—“Whether they are the skateboarders or parents, knowing we have helped community members is the best kind of feeling there is,” Says Mary. She recently served as a designer for the new Encinitas Skate Park and is currently working on the Park De La Cruz Skate Park in San Diego, CA.

Mary also looks forward to the opportunities where her designs improve communities by helping those who have suffered loss. One of her favorite projects is a memorial skate park she worked on in Buda, Texas. The park was named after a boy who had died in an accident after a skating session with his friends. The opening of the park helped heal a community and brought together the strangers who had received the boys donated organs.

When she’s not working on skate parks in San Diego, she’s enjoying their beaches with her family or dreaming about travelling to exotic or off-the-beaten path destinations she’ll go to when her kids get older. 

Houston skaters arrive at The Station

A dedicated community of Houston skateboarders dreamed big, and are now riding The Station, their very own skatepark.

Transcript of the video follows
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<p>Cameron:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; This skate park is named after The Station, a measly little gas station off of Chimney Rock in West Belfort.</p> <p>Justin:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; That's where we all learned our basic tricks and, more importantly, where we met each other. But then the gas station was torn down, so at 15 years old, me and my friends put our heads together, put our ideas together, and decided to build a skate park.</p> <p>Cameron:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We started going to meetings, we started calling and e-mailing so many people asking for money.</p> <p>Kanten:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; And our design team met with all the locals in the community here to talk about whether they actually wanted in the skate park, and after shredding with them and getting some ideas and putting it on paper, we came up with the layout we have.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The goal was to put something in here that was for everybody, whether it was transition in the bowl, quarter pipes, banks, hips, rails, it was really what we were trying to do with the design.</p> <p>Justin:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; And now I'm able to stand here, starting at 15 years old as a kid, just skating at [Manning Gas Station 00:01:03] with my friends. And now, 19 years old, not a kid anymore, and I'm standing here at a skate park that we built together.</p> <p>Cameron:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; My favorite thing about skateboarding is getting on my board and skating anywhere and anytime. Just pushing down the street, just cruising. I just love that feeling of wind in my hair, having fun.</p> <p>Andrew:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Skateboarding, for me, has a very individualistic approach. For instance, when I was a kid, I was never good in soccer, basketball ... That was mainly because I had to rely on other people.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Skateboarding's all about individual achievement, and that really pushes me to do the best that I can do and that I want to do.</p> <p>Justin:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Seeing your friends, seeing yourself, seeing everybody around you progress, that is the coolest part about skateboarding.</p> <p>Max:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When you're skateboarding, you can be trying a trick for five minutes or five hours, and when you finally land that trick, it's one of the best feelings in the world.</p> <p>Juan:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I skate to fall, really. It's like, just to do that and to get back up and do it again.</p> <p>Brendon:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We put in a lot of hard work and time from the community and we finally have our park.</p> <p>Juan:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; It's amazing, really. I never thought it would come true. It's like a dream of every skater.</p> <p>Andrew:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Park is pretty sick because it's right down the street from my house.</p> <p>Dan:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; And it turned out super good. The transitions, the angles, everything flows. I'm really happy with it.</p> <p>Kanten:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; It was just really an idea that came to life from them. It's really a community project and we were just there to help them.</p> <p>Sylvester:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; If you dream of something and you want something, you can grab it and you can make it happen.</p> <p>Annise:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; This park is designed for this neighborhood and this community, and it is exactly what this neighborhood and this community asked for. Very, very important.</p> <p>Cameron:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; And I wish that this would inspire anybody else to continue what we just did and spread the love of skateboarding.</p> <p>Justin:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; This skate park being a concrete skate park is amazing because it's here permanently. It's not going anywhere, so it's gonna be here for generations. I'm gonna be able to skate in it, my kids are gonna be able to skate it, and my grandkids will even get to skate it.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I think that this community has a lot of positivity flowing through it just through this skate park.</p>

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