The Pocket Park Committee is excited to welcome Erica Stout as its newest member. At the last meeting Erica was introduced to the other members. She hit the ground rolling and has abundance of great ideas. She will bring a lot of energy and new ideas to the committee. Welcome Erica!

After many fits and starts, the concrete work in the pocket park is finished. It was a long haul and through the generous donations of many neighbors and the hard work of those on the committee and the many volunteers, the next step of completing the park is underway. A few extra items were added, free of charge, by our contractor, Mike Sturgeon. Mike offered to concrete in the new bike rack and provide a bump out for the Little Free Library to make it wheelchair accessible. The end is in sight and it is only a matter of time that HMP will be able to enjoy the fully-completed park that was envisioned so many years ago.

Many may remember that the Pocket Park had three phases:

  • Phase 1: Identify and purchase land
  • Phase 2: Develop plans for park, get permits, complete build outs
  • Phase 3: Maintain and add extras/embellishments

At the last committee meeting, Cassie Mehlman-Rhys reported on the Phase 2 progress to date:

  • The committee raised the remaining funds needed for the concrete
  • Cassie and John Carmer had a good walkthrough with Mike Sturgeon, the concrete contractor, to clarify expectations
  • The park has a bike rack, courtesy of Larry Sanner’s directed donation
  • John installed the Little Free Library
  • Cassie found and donated a toddler slide
  • John will lead the efforts to assemble a team to install the remainder of the fence. Sections were intentionally left open to accommodate the big equipment used by the concrete contractors

Other progress since last meeting:

  • Cassie and Sharon Gamble presented the pocket park plan to Ryan Noel and Nick Wright to get current board leadership caught up on the history of the park
  • Cassie and Sharon plan to revive one-on-one fundraising efforts
  • Cassie plans to revive small-group park tours on Monday nights, twice each month, for anyone interested
  • Bob Mead plans to donate 4 picnic tables for under the shelter that will need assembly

As much progress that has been completed on the park, there are still a few remaining immediate needs:

  • Continuous financial support: While fundraising efforts were enough to pay for concrete, the pocket park funds will be depleted after that
  • A platform needs to be built on the low playstation structure where the big kid slide is resting to permanently affix the slide at the right height so it can be used
  • Park items that were previously located in the garage of Doug Day need a new home (100-foot hose and movie screen)
  • Leslie Hale’s mom has some playground equipment to donate
  • A plan for wintertime snow removal from the park’s walkway

The committee needs to identify dates for:

  • Back-to-School Party in the Park in late August
  • Grand Opening Party in the Park in the early fall

As mentioned, the pocket park needs continuous financial support. If everyone gives then the financial burden does not continue to fall on a few neighbors. The park is available for everyone and everyone is asked to help make and keep the park alive and beautiful. Financial contributions to the pocket park are separate from neighborhood association dues.

The committee floated around a few fundraising ideas:

Erica shared a fun fundraising idea she has done before: a trolley trip! The committee felt we could find enough willing participants to do this a few times with different themes/destinations, including at the holidays to look at lights.

  • A one-time insurance liability rider is required for each trip
  • Trips are BYOB
  • Neighbors who like to cook may be solicited to make food for the trip
  • The trolley would be boarded at the park so people could see what their ticket is raising money for

The committee welcomes other fundraising ideas.