Pocket Parks

Welcome back to another innovative park design spotlight! Over the last few weeks, we’ve covered different kinds of innovative playgrounds, that have been geared exclusively towards children and families. However, parks are a place for everyone. Today, we’re going to be looking at an innovative park design that is geared towards everyone in a community – pocket parks!

Pocket parks are a great way to turn vacant land into public green space. They are specifically designed to encompass a small area. Pocket parks can be designed to fit the community where it resides. Some of the most famous examples of pocket parks are often found in larger urban environments, as a way to break up the city and incorporate more public green space. This has shown to greatly improve the quality of life for surrounding residents. The following slideshow highlights two famous urban pocket parks. Both are in Manhattan, NYC and are known as Paley Park and Greenacre Park.

Paley Park

Image credits, from left: Sampo Silko via Flickr, Mike Boucher via Flickr, Mike Boucher via Flickr.

Greenacre Park

Image credits: The Cultural Landscape Foundation

Pocket Parks in Columbia Valley

While pocket parks are often seen in dense urban landscapes, this kind of park design could work well for incorporating more green public space in Columbia Valley. Plus, if a small vacant plot of land becomes available a pocket park would be a relatively cost-effective solution! Another great thing about pocket parks is that because of their small size, planning and executing a park plan can be less intimidating for a first park. Pocket parks are also a perfect opportunity for lots of community input and volunteer work. One example of a pocket park in Columbia Valley could consist of planting native vegetation, installer pavers for a small path, and possibly including some benches. Another fun possibility that Columbia Valley residents may enjoy is a wildflower garden! Not only are wildflowers enjoyable to look at, but they often promote healthy pollinators!

Chippendale Park – Sydney, Australia
Image Credit: Newton Grafitti via Flickr
Boyd Jackson Park – Takoma Park, Maryland
Image Credit: Google Street View
St. Anne’s Road Pocket Park 
Image Credit: Shubham Sotwal via Google Maps Images

It’s also important to point out that there are lots of resources and toolkits available online that help guide communities to planning their own pocket park. These resources include ideas for the park design, budgeting, where to look for funding, and some even include case studies! These toolkits will be linked below under the additional resources. 

Additional Resources

Trust for Public Land Pocket Park Toolkit

National Recreation and Park Association Mini-Park Toolkit

Toolkit for Community Participation in Pocket Parks

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