Community Spotlight: Pocket Park Campaign in Crawfordsville

Community Spotlight

In early July, Placemaking Indiana’s Carmen Lethig visited Crawfordsville, IN for their quarterly Stellar meetings. Crawfordsville was designated a Stellar Community in 2015, and since then the city and its partners have been working to complete the projects that were a part of their application. One such project was a pocket park, located within the city’s downtown core on the corner of Washington St. and Pike St.

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A voting station set-up at City Hall.

This past spring, the City of Crawfordsville acquired both pieces of property that will eventually make up the park. To get residents more involved and excited about the project, a two week campaign to gather ideas for a park name was started on June 30th. Montgomery County Community Foundation and Wabash College teamed-up with the City of Crawfordsville to help ensure that both the campaign and the eventual park are both successful. MCCF even granted $100,000 in support of the park and had two of its interns run the naming campaign. The campaign ended July 16th, and soon a committee made up of representatives from all three organizations will decide on the name for the park.

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A sign advertising the naming campaign in front of the park space.

What makes the “Your Mark, Our Park,” outreach campaign so impressive is how the outreach was implemented and the plans put in place so residents can really “leave their mark” on the pocket park. Not only was a press release provided to local newspapers, social media posts (from all three partners) and a video were made to let people know how they can provide input: through email through forms provided in the newspaper, and through suggestion boxes at over 35 local shops and businesses. This multi-prong approach helped ensure that residents of all ages had the ability to suggest a name for the park. Even better, those that provided suggestions will have their names displayed on “Hello My Name Is” tags incorporated into an art piece located in the park. How cool is that?!

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Another voting station, this time at a local coffee shop.

We love this type of placemaking: local partners working together to improve a space by using input that comes directly from local community members. Connecting residents to neighborhood projects like this can be a simple yet powerful way create the kind of place where people really want to live, work and play.

And honestly, we just love pocket parks. Can’t wait to see this one when it’s all finished!

Click here to see the a video for the campaign.

Click here to see a report done on the community input session for the pocket park.

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