Pocket park, anyone? In 2015 the Village of Kaslo’s website featured a short survey re: what people would like to see happen to the vacant lot beside the Kaslo Village Hall, former site of the village’s firehall. The majority of those replying chose a public garden/park. Following a call for submissions, the Village chose one landscape design but to date has not found the funds to finalize the design/adjustments/alterations/infrastructure needed to most effectively carry out this project. This doesn’t mean the Village doesn’t want to do it; there just aren’t more than 24 hours in a day and they have a long list of things they are working on…. But the initial plan is in place and Kaslo’s Public Art Committee will have a hand in encouraging the public to take part in the process and decision making at certain points in the creation of the “pocket park”.
Definition (Wikipedia): A pocket park (also known as a parkette, mini-park, vest-pocket park or vesty park) is a small park accessible to the general public. Pocket parks are frequently created on a single vacant building lot or on small, irregular pieces of land.
Along with accessibility, there is potential to create the elements of this type of park as unique to Kaslo as possible…which can of course, encompass a whole range of ideas.
Here are some ideas that have been collected, given the location and size of the space and in consideration of the “character” of the Village of Kaslo:
- Perhaps a brick or flagstone pathway with the family names of those living (past and present) in Kaslo stamped in the bricks which could form the paths in and around this space. These types of materials also offer an easy surface for walking on or pushing a stroller or wheel chair.
- Building material? Brick walls, ironwork or…maybe river stone from the Kaslo river to create a defined area around the park.
- Should there be water in some form in the park? that might depend on the capacity of the Village water system…(if something like a fountain is considered) or not.
- Could the benches be made out of locally harvested wood ? ..one of the Village’s policies is to whenever possible, use locally sourced wood for Village “furniture” (ie benches), etc, so perhaps that would work well with the design.
- Could we hire local sculptors to design several lamps (run on solar energy?) to be included for lighting the area at night?.
- Could there be a life sized miner’s cabin in the centre of the park for kids to explore in? We have a history of mining in the area. Perhaps the Kootenay Lake Historical Society would like to be a partner in research of the historical side (which is huge!) of features included in the park.
- Put in a “Speakers corner” at one end, perhaps enlarged enough to serve also as a performance space or platform for musicians – music being such a large and positive feature of the Village….
These are just a few random ideas to get collective creative juices going and to encourage use of local resources and local knowledge and local talent to help make it “the right place” for Kaslo. Stay tuned for further developments as the plan continues to develop.