The Sussex Street initiative was first proposed at the Green Space Strategy workshop in July and kicked-off in earnest with a meeting with the Tangara Resident’s Association and representatives of the West End Uniting Church in August. The vision presented by Alvin Kirby and Michelle Kirby-Brown from the Green Space Strategy Team is for two new permanent Parklets in the street. The 2016 Parking Day on Friday 16th of September was the selected as the ideal occasion to showcase the concept. “What better way to cement the idea of what a pocket park could look like,” Alvin Kirby said.
Tangara residents, representatives from West End Uniting Church and the Kurilpa Futures Group, along with Alvin and Michelle, formed the plan and after a bit of begging and borrowing in the community pulled together props and plants to fashion a park for the day. The parklet included recreational space with barbeque, seating, plants, and shade. Residents, some specially dressed for the occasion, enjoyed a feast of pikelets (….for Parking Day of course!) and an entertainment program including the Swara Songbirds Choir, a poetry recital by Jonathan Sri, and jazz and song with Cliff Draper and Pam Bourke.
John Murphy, president of the Tangara Residents’ Association and one of the organising team, said the day, “… added to uniqueness and enjoyment for residents at the plant filled and colourful parklet.”
Organisers were thrilled that the small event garnered a Judges’ Highly Commended for PARK(ing) Day 2016 Award. In thanking the team for its participation, the judges said, “… we absolutely loved your Greening West End Park, and it was fabulous seeing everyone having such a good time!”
As nice as this recognition is, Alvin Kirby told The Westender, Parking Day was only the beginning of the project. “Ultimately we want to work towards a design with the community to implement permanent parklets,” he said.
The Kurilpa Futures Group is keen to continue working with Tangara and with the West End Uniting Church to engage with the residents of Sussex St about the proposed design, Pam Bourke told The Westender.
“We are also planning a Christmas event in the street to continue to promote the benefits of providing accessible Green Space in the heart of West End. We will continue to work with John Mongard, local residents and other community groups to encourage the Council to implement the Green Space Strategy”, she said.
For more detail on this and on other Green Space initiatives now underway in West End see the Kurilpa Futures website here.