Make something in your park: plant and care for trees, grow a garden, or seek approval from Parks to create temporary art that reflects neighborhood culture.
Involving people in creating a hands-on project in their park can lead to a profound sense of community ownership. Hands-on projects, which can be anything from gardens to art installations, require close coordination with Parks.
Before design begins, a temporary hands-on project (like paper lanterns hung in Sara D. Roosevelt Park or planting bulbs or painting benches on It’s My Park Day) can complement an input-gathering process and inform the designer about what is meaningful to the community.
In order for a community-created element to become a permanent part of the new park though, it must be included in the designer’s plans and approved as an integral component of the design. After the new park opens, temporary projects can help connect people to the new space.
Hester Street Collaborative engaged local students in creating permanent and temporary elements for Sara D. Roosevelt Park: mosaics made by students were embedded in a brick wall when a playground was renovated, and every year handmade lanterns are hung in the park during Chinese New Year.
Making a mark though can be as simple as organizing regular clean-up days and planting in areas that won’t be renovated, so long as it’s done in collaboration with your park’s Manager.
Hands-on projects are not always feasible. Discuss your ideas with Parks and seek approval before moving forward.