Fort Worth sees first of its kind pop-up park
May 06, 2016
Original content of WFAA at http://www.wfaa.com/life/fort-worth-sees-first-pop-up-park-for-public-use/178427221
Along Fort Worth’s Magnolia Avenue, you’ll find shops, restaurants, patios and people. But even the area’s most fervent supporters admit what you won’t find here is a public place, to just take it all in.
“This is the Magnolia Micro Park,” says Megan Henderson of Near Southside, Inc. She’s one of the people behind the idea.
The micro park is, by all accounts, the first of its kind in the city of Fort Worth.
“We took it into our own hands,” she says.
It’s a pop-up public park, at the corner of Magnolia and Henderson, created 100 percent by private or donated materials. Turf, tables, you name it.
“These bricks are 100 years old, give or take,” Henderson says, showing us a walkway created completely with re-claimed bricks from the Main Street beautification project. As they ripped up the road, they found the antique bricks under the pavement, and instead of throwing them out, they found a new home here.
Henderson says a developer has temporarily lent them the land. It’s not much -- about 30 feet by 100 feet she estimates. But it’s enough to get creative and give people a proper place to plop down.
We’ve watched as the land transformed from a vacant plot to a colorful park. The lights are solar panels atop poles that are decorated with neon-colored zip ties; that was part of a public art project earlier this year.
There are donated trees and picnic tables. They are using milk crates to construct benches. We spoke to volunteer Stacy Marshall as he put one together.
“I just want to be a part of something that’s going to shape and transform Fort Worth as it moves forward,” he says.
The City of Fort Worth has some of its own so-called "pocket parks," which are essentially tiny parks, including Hyde Park downtown which is .01 acres. Another one, “First Flight Park,” just opened recently near Montgomery Plaza. In total, Fort Worth has 272 city-owned parks.
But city parks can sometimes take years to come to fruition, says David Creek, assistant director of Fort Worth Parks and Recreation. The folks on Magnolia don’t have that sort of time, nor did they want to dip into public funds, knowing they’ll eventually pick up the pieces of the pop-up park and move it somewhere else once the land it sits on gets developed.
So they did it on their own.
“It kind of goes with the neighborhood,” says neighbor Dana St. Germain. “The neighborhood is very eclectic, very much into re-purposing and being green.”
“The public has a responsibility to each other as community members to find a way to create meaningful spaces,” Henderson says.
And they believe they’re doing that, in a big way, with this tiny park.
The park is expected to be completed around May 18.
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