Little Village Pocket Parks

Pocket Park Launch 2010 by pocketparks
January 26, 2010, 5:37 pm
Filed under: background, EVENTS

The winter might bring hibernation, but the imagination continues to flutter!

It’s the beginning of a new year, and what better way to kick-off the year than to meet the faces of the Archeworks team! Join us on Wednesday, February 3rd at 6:00pm in Little Village for some free food and fellowship.  We will be gathering at the New Life Church and will discuss the exciting plans and ideas that are in the works for the rest of the year.  Learn how you can get involved and give us your input.  All age groups are welcomed.

Let’s work together to bring more green space to Little Village!

Christmas in Little Village by pocketparks
January 11, 2010, 1:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

From December 24, 2009

Collection of images and thoughts while distributing posters in Little Village. The focus was primarily on businesses surrounding a vacant lot on 26th & St. Louis (abuts the alley where our 26th & trumbull site is). People responded positively to the posters wishing Little Village a Happy New Year with an image of the tree placed in a vacant lot (refer to Decemeber 23rd post). I’m hoping people see the poster we put up inside the Church tomorrow and on Sunday (Christmas Day). These efforts were made in order to draw curiosity into the space and also interact with local residents and businesses. There were a lot of people out despite the rainy and cold weather. Oh yes, we also enjoyed the freshly cooked tamales from a local vendor. YUM

poster placed on a vacant lot FOR SALE sign

Church across the street from vacant lot

Fruit Juice Shop

crowded barber shop

vacant lot poster advertised under FOR RENT sign

local tamale vendor directly across from vacant lot

by pocketparks
December 23, 2009, 12:54 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Class on 11/30/09 by pocketparks
November 30, 2009, 10:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The group met at Archeworks.  We reviewed what had been done in the past week, which included going over our list of questions related to vacant land.  On this note, we broke up into small groups according to our goals; research, marketing, and the 3D object (with some cross-over between groups).  Some of the research will need to address how residents can change vacant land, such as finding out if there are people in the neighborhood with construction skills.  The marketing group brought in research related to selling ideas by identifying a problem while also offering a solution.  The 3D component will be a caterpillar.  We are still interested in finding ways to create interest in the lots, and tonight we asked three members of the urban agriculture group if they would be interested in hosting a dinner on one of our sites.  This would advance the goals of both groups.

New Art for Pocket Parks by pocketparks
November 21, 2009, 11:45 pm
Filed under: EVENTS

The students and facilitators at Archeworks had a benefit on Friday, November 6th to raise money and awareness about their school and mission.  The evening was full of different activities including a tour of the building, exhibits about this year’s projects (Pocket Parks and Urban Agriculture), a landfill sunday booth, buffet of food, an open bar, a marching band, and graffiti artists.  Guests from different backgrounds came to mingle  and learn more about the school and our ambitions.

For the “Pocket Parks” group, we displayed some photos and information about the events we’ve been a part of in the community.  We are also excited to present some specially made art created by the graffiti artists we invited to the benefit.  Check out they’re creations!

Be on the look out for some of these around your local pocket parks!

day of the dead at perez plaza by migrod
November 9, 2009, 2:33 pm
Filed under: EVENTS

the cool temperature on monday november 2nd didn’t keep close to one hundred spectators and participants from being part of the little village day of the dead communal altar, kite making, and drum dancing celebration at perez plaza.




for more photographs of the event, please visit: the flickr set

After-School Charrette with students from St. Agnes Elementary by pocketparks
November 1, 2009, 4:42 pm
Filed under: charrette, EVENTS

This past week, a few students from Archework’s Pocket Park group went with Christina Bronsing from ENLACE to do a charrette about the 26th & Trumbull site with students who were part of an after-school science club at St. Agnes Elementary School.  The school is located only a few blocks away from the site, so we thought they would be a good partner for the site.

After a short introduction to the students about the larger idea of pocket-parks and why green space was important in their community, we asked the students to write on two colored post-it notes what they did and did not want to see in the park.  Many of the students expressed concerns for safety and clean parks.

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After going over the post-its so that they would get ideas of what their fellow peers wanted, we asked the students to get into groups of four (4) and gave each group a larger plan of the site and told them to design a park that addressed these issues.

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After about a half hour of coming up with their designs, the students then were asked to present their ideas back to the group.  Many of their ideas were very ambitious and creative:

We would like to thank the students for their cooperation and the Youth Program Coordinator for Faith in Place, Katy Regaldo, for allowing us to come to their classroom and do this exercise with them.  We hope to maintain this relationship with the students and to have them become more involved with the Trumbull site.

Work Day at Perez Plaza by pocketparks
November 1, 2009, 3:09 pm
Filed under: EVENTS

On Saturday, October 17th, we had the first work day of the year at Perez Plaza.  Thank you to all who came out to volunteer their time to help despite the cold and slightly rainy day!  We spent the day planting tulip bulbs in the tree beds to bring some color into the plaza when spring rolls around, painting message boards, and making a bench to go in a pocket-park site later on.  Check out the pictures from the day:

A Handbook of Community Gardening book review by pocketparks
October 15, 2009, 6:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The book is a basic guidebook to starting a community garden.  It starts by providing a history on Community Gardens and their importance.   It provides examples of historical gardens in Europe and the United States, such as the War Gardens. 

The book continues to Part II, which discusses the basic ways to organizing a community garden.  The book gives guidelines on finding people that are interested, holding meetings, and finding the resources.   The book does not provide extremely detailed accounts or practices adapted by other gardens; rather, the ideas are more generic and not specific to different communities.  However, though much of the content is general, the Boston Urban Gardeners network is mentioned and some of their best practices are provided.  The book continues by explaining the role of the government in the process of starting a garden.

The book then begins to get into the more technical aspects of starting a garden.  It talks about site selection, site acquisition, and site design.  Furthermore, the book delves into more detailed explanations of preparing a site and talks about methods of soil testing, composting, and actual planting.    The book provides specific diagrams and examples of design elements that can be used such as fencing, shading devices, planters, etc.   Some of the schemes are outdated, but the book is good for general knowledge and some of the diagrams are useful. 

The book continues by explaining the process of maintaining a community garden and taking it further to establish food co-ops or a farmers market.  The book also gives guidelines for maintenance throughout the growing season and even gives long-term guidance on land ownership possibilities.

Overall, the book provides great general guidelines and a good overview on the components of a community garden. 

The following pages have particularly useful diagrams worth looking over:

Sun diagram: 49

Soil moisture: 75

Yearly garden calendar: 111

Recycling resources: 165-167

Little Village Arts Fest by pocketparks
October 8, 2009, 9:05 pm
Filed under: EVENTS

This past weekend we had an exhibit at the Villarte gallery in Little Village.  It was a great opportunity to show off the progress from last year and to inform the community about what we hope to accomplish this year.  There was a lot of new interest in the project and we hope to build on the new relationships made at the arts fest.

Thanks to everyone who came out to visit us and learn more about our Pocket Parks project, despite the horrible weather.  We hope to see you again at our work day on Saturday, October 17th at 9AM at Perez Plaza!