Friday, November 2, 2012

Pocket Parks by Janet Low

The park with bermed, rock covered hillside with native shrubs and wooden architectural features

Strolling along an old railway path in Salida with  my granddaughter, we came across a once weedy vacant lot that had been transformed into a “pocket park.”  As she napped in her stroller, I sat and enjoyed the view of the Collegiate Peaks and the natural setting that had been created by the native herbaceous perennials and shrubs. At this Monarch Spur Park in Salida, a wooden structure created to post facts about the sight, along with a list of native plants that were planted in the pocket park were included.  Credit was also given to the creators and donors of the park.

Explanation of Monarch Spur Park, a sign in the pocket park in Salida

By definition, a pocket park is a small park accessible to the general public, frequently created on a single vacant building lot or small irregular pieces of public or private land.  They provide greenery, a place to sit, possibly created around a monument or art project. They can also have a positive effect on the value of nearby homes and businesses as well as eliminating the weeds on long forgotten lots.

The wooden structure built for the sign

Returning home to Lakewood, I began to think of the possibilities for “pocket parks” in Jefferson County.  As a master gardener without a plot of land of my own for gardening, I have adopted plots of land to tend to, such as friends’ gardens that need help with planting, weeding, dead heading  and dividing, a memorial garden at the church my parents once attended and now the idea of a pocket park.

My thoughts about a pocket park would be to research land ownership when coming across a plot of land that would make a viable project.  CSU fact sheet #7.242 Native Herbaceous Perennials for Colorado Landscapes and #7.422 Native Shrubs for Colorado Landscapes would be supports for suggested plants. 

The labor force necessary could possibly come from Colorado Master Gardeners as a project for  garden project/plant select/ or display garden credit hours.  The plants could also come partially from Colorado Master Gardeners when dividing and sharing their own gardens (such as Fall Harvest), along with fundraisers and donations throughout the year.  The Salida park used a grant form Great Outdoors Colorado, along with cooperation from neighboring landowners, Salida Parks Open Space and Trails and the City of Salida Public Works Dept.

No comments:

Post a Comment