By Omar Casillas, Community Collaborations Manager
On Tuesday, January 29th, New Columbia residents gathered to take part in a design workshop for a new bike skills park in their neighborhood. Landscape architects and planners from MIG, Inc. facilitated the event and worked with community members to come up with creative bike skills park designs.
Members of We All Can Ride (WACR), the resident bike committee in New Columbia, took part in the event and shared their vision for the park. Yvette Maranowksi of WACR stressed the importance of the design workshop “it was an important way for the community to come together as people interested in making a positive change.”
Christina, Jonathan, and Rachel, three representatives from MIG, kicked the evening off with a site analysis and reminded residents of some important things to keep in mind, like sun/shade patterns and drainage, when putting their designs together. MIG provided paper cutouts of an array of park elements for residents to place on large site maps.
Residents worked in groups to create their collaged vision for a bike skills park in their neighborhood. Square pieces of paper became flower-laden hedges or shady park benches, and various lengths of string marked the placement of paths made of compacted gravel or bark chips.
Toward the end of the evening, each small group shared their design concepts. A group of teens from the Boys & Girls Club were the first to share their vision for a bike park they will some day use. Other groups listened and watched while hurrying to place one more bench or one more length of trail.
Set to be constructed by summer of 2013, the skills park will provide a space for residents to improve their riding skills and serve as a meeting place for community rides. “The skills park will increase use of the Hub,” says Yvette, “and therefore the Hub will become an even more essential community asset than it already is.”
We would like to send a big “thank you” to the folks at MIG for facilitating the event. We also want to thank all the New Columbia residents that came out and offered their input.
Photo by Omar Casillas