You know that strip of greenery on Bainbridge Street between 3rd and 5th? The space at the center of the roundabout used by those in search of the ever-elusive parking spot? Well, the Friends of Bainbridge Green want to turn that median (the Green) into something special.
As part of Love Your Park Week, the FOBG is inviting neighbors to the green tomorrow, May 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., to seek community input on what the space should look like and what types of events should be programmed there once complete.
Kids will be able to flesh out their ideas using sidewalk chalk while adults will be asked to complete a questionnaire. The ideas expressed at the event will be taken into consideration during the design process being headed by the Community Design Collaborative.
The CDC is the same group that awarded a grant to the Passyunk Square Civic Association for free design services to transform Columbus Square Park at 12th and Wharton.
Because the space already exists, the project requires no major overhaul, just a bit of enhancement and re-imagination. Some of the greening elements that could supplement the established trees are edible, educational, water and sculpture gardens. Lighting will be installed to enhance safety and encourage broader use of the space while irrigation and stormwater management will be used to help ensure the long-term viability of the greening.
At each intersection, the end cap areas will be made more people-friendly with the addition of seating and activity stations. Bikers will also find places to safely store their wheels (the site is also a potential bike-share site). The sidewalks lining either side of the Green will be widened and made level to better accommodate pedestrians and those utilizing the metered parking spaces. Also a potential benefit to parkers, the FOBG will explore the idea of angling spots adjacent to the north side of the Green (they are already angled on the south side).
The FOBG also hopes to incorporate the north and south sides of Bainbridge Street in the design and see here potential for more landscaping and seating.
At the end of the design process, the CDC will have created a set of plans that can be used to raise funds and begin seeking construction bids. Though fundraising is ongoing, the Philadelphia Water Department has expressed interest in making the Green a storm water management site.
Saturday’s event will take place from 11am-2pm at the Drink Gentle Friends fountain at 3rd & Bainbridge. At noon, the FOBG will celebrate the history of Queen Village and the project’s future by recreating a photo of the fountain dating back more than one hundred years.
Find the FOBG here on Facebook. Donations in support of the project may be made through the Queen Village Neighbors Association c/o The Friends of Bainbridge Green.
– Lauren Leonard, editor of greenLimbs.com