Posted by Linda Dottor The dedicated members of Friends of Dickinson Square regularly pick up litter and tend the park’s 25 fledgling shade trees. But, in 2007, the group realized that it needed to take a longer view to be good stewards of this well-loved, well-worn public park in Pennsport. Friends of Dickinson Square sought help from the Collaborative to develop a conceptual master plan for future park improvements.
The Collaborative’s volunteer design team crafted a “big picture” plan for the group , using information and insights gleaned from a careful inventory of the park and meetings with a neighborhood task force. The team bolstered the conceptual master plan with advice and sketches on how to spruce up the park’s community building, landscaping, and lighting; add a dog run; and place new play equipment within the park.
The conceptual master plan has contributed to Friends of Dickinson Square ’s subsequent fundraising success. In December 2008, the Friends group reported that “we at Dickinson Square have received an early Christmas present”—a $300,000 matching grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
While improvements to Dickinson Square will take several years to realize, Friends of Dickinson Square is kicking off the park’s renewal with a smaller project recommended in the conceptual master plan—the installation a green wall system over the cinderblock exterior of the community building. The green wall project will be funded through the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Parks Revitalization Program.