Update: Download the latest progress report for the W. W. Stone Park Improvements 171103_progressreport
On April 1, 2017, Kings Highway Conservation District neighbors teamed up with Team Better Block, a consulting firm born in Oak Cliff out of the original Better Block project back in 2010, to conduct a rapid planning effort with neighborhood volunteers and showcase how W. W. Stone Park could be improved using best practice place-making tools called Stone Park Better Block.
Neighbors first gathered back on February 18th for a walk and talk of the space to discuss their ideas and gather feedback for the effort.
Team Better Block then created a concept plan that was reviewed and vetted by neighbors, and formulated into a build plan for the purpose of constructing pop up amenities for the April 1st transformation event.
Volunteers gave their time and Team Better Block and KHCD partially funded building a fence, mural, crosswalks, bicycle parking, table, little library, seating, games, donated toys and programmed the morning with food, beverages, and music from a neighborhood teenage band and honored a former long-time neighbor.
Parents wanted the space to feel safer from the busy street so they could relax a bit more while their children played.
Many residents ride their bicycles throughout the neighborhood and city, and wanted parking installed.
Temporary crosswalks were painted to provide better, safer access to the park from two different places on Edgefield.
The benches currently installed in the park are great, but lack a table to enable eating your lunch, an art project, or any activity for children and adults might partake in while enjoying the park.
By chance, an official Little Library was acquired through a donation from the family of Catherine Belle Seaman, a lovely and active woman who had grown up and lived in the neighborhood most of her life.
A local neighbor and artist created a temporary galaxy mural for the day. Volunteers are working on a proposal to submit to the cities Cultural Affairs department to implement a future mural on the concrete slab at the park.
On April 1, 2017, the day’s events kicked off with a dedication of a the little library in honor of Catherine Belle Seaman, who grow up on Winnetka and loves to read stories. Here’s some video of her speech at the event:
Many new and old neighbors came out to see the temporary changes, and provided feedback in a survey distributed at the event. Here are several photos from the day:
After the event, and over the past several months, a small and dedicated group of volunteers worked with the Parks department to submit a needs list for review by park staff. After their review, KHCD was awarded with the creation of a pilot program for all of the new improvements. Currently, a progress summary report has been created and will be presented at the next quarterly meeting on November 9th.