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EDITORIAL: Thanking Ward Joyce and Many Others for the Main Street Pocket Park


by Nat Frothingham

Coming up on Saturday, October 3 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the pocket park on Main Street is what looks like a community party.

According to architect Ward Joyce, he and others will be offering beverages and cake to thank people who worked together this spring and summer to create a successful pocket park in an empty space right across the street from city hall and the fire station.

There were a number of elements that led to the success of this summer’s Main Street pocket park. Some of these elements include the green wall, the rainwater catchment system, overhead lighting, a chess board, picnic tables, bike parking and moveable street furniture.

Joyce had plenty of help in planning and designing the project from getting the needed permits and the building to installing the park in May with 20 community members and 10 Vermont Technical College faculty members. Local designer, Kelly Ogrodnik was responsible for the planting design.

“We’ve heard nothing but positive feedback on the park,” reported Joyce in an e-mail message to The Bridge and it was our observation throughout the summer that the pocket park was pretty consistent being used, enjoyed and appreciated.

Further thanks go out to the many individuals, businesses and organizations whose in kind and dollar donations made it possible to create and maintain the pocket park.

Joyce has added up a dollar amount for all of the donations and that amount is $22,211. But the dollar only tells part of the story. Joyce also acknowledges hundreds of hours of volunteer help — donated at no cost.

As part of the October 3 community party and celebration, Joyce and others are kicking off a campaign to raise — in his words — “a few thousand dollars for next year’s planting, upkeep expenses, and a budget for events.

Bravo to Ward Joyce, to Vermont Technical College students and faculty, to all who donated time, and to the many individuals, businesses and organizations who donated the money that made the pocket park possible.