This past Saturday Jamila, Eugene and I attended Park Pride’s Annual Community Design Clinic. Thanks to Lynn and Brian for drafting a wonderful design which incorporates many different concepts-previously discussed at our Friends of the West End Park meetings.
The workshop was so much fun! When we finished, I was so excited and inspired I could hardly wait to share it with all of you. I’ll definitely bring the drawing to our next Friends of the West end Park meeting (April 15 @ 7pm)-in the meantime I thought I’d post pictures for you to see.
The theme of the park is SUSTAINABILITY and EDUCATION, we hope to provide environmental education, cultural and art-related activities that facilitate learning through positive experiences for park-goers. There’s a strong emphasis on children. We want to create interactive spaces where children can learn about the environment through topics such as growing food, harvesting water, wetlands, composting and understanding seasons in relation to vegetation.
The Children’s Area unites the existing playground to a Children’s Garden-where children can dig holes, make mud-pies, have their own planting events and grow sunflowers, herbs and other wonderful plants that children love. The areas are united by a maze this adds interest and keeps the children engaged. The area is circled by a path (made of recycled/sustainable materials), children can ride tricycles and bikes. The little squares represents a buffer (either posts or retaining wall) to protect the area from cars.
The pink circles that go around the park are flowering trees that provide ongoing blooms throughout the different seasons. Of course, in this dream design the sidewalks are repaired by the City!!! The basketball court has gutters added to the roof to collect water via rain-barrels. On the other side the water is directed to a mini-wetland that is part of our educational theme. We talked about converting that baseball field into a soccer field but still need to assess community preference.
A small amphitheater is added to support small events such as local performances, classes, story-time, poetry, films on the park, etc. On the other side of the baseball field, you’ll find “Berry Hill” where we’ll plant blueberry bushes, strawberries and maybe thornless raspberries. I’m sure the area will be self-harvested. This will help adorn those hills that now have bald spots of dirt.
These paths already exist in the park but we’d enlarge the center point to create a circular area with either a fire-pit or a water-fountain will provide longer stays in the park. Fruit trees such as apple, peach, pear would line the paths creating wonderful shade. An arbor would welcome you into the space covered with grape vines in the summer. This area is wonderful for drumming circles, storytelling, meditation, yoga, reading groups, poetry whatever the community needs.
The back entrance (which is very steep) would have steps to hold back the erosion. There would also be handicap-accessible entrances to the park. The paths are enhances for bike riders and bike rack are added. There will also be an ‘Athletic Shed’ that can house equipment such as tennis rackets, basketballs, gardening tool, the shed will be built with the possibility of volunteers sharing hours for community members to borrow equipment. The area to the other side of the tennis court will have picnic tables that are closer to street for better access, this will facilitate carrying supplies into the area and hopefully discourage parking on the park. A beautiful mural will adorn the walls by the tennis courts.
What do you think? Ready to make it happen?
If you’re interested in making our design a reality please GET INVOLVED! It’s not just coming to the meetings but YOU CAN ALSO HELP BY… donating some of these flowering/fruit trees, strawberry plants and blueberry bushes. We need help with fundraisers, clean-ups and LOTS OF DONATIONS (labor, materials, cash donations)! Please do your part and make our dream park a REALITY!