Pocket Park to Bring Greenspace to E. 131st Street Corridor

Pocket parks, also known as miniparks, are urban open spaces, usually only a few house-lots in size or smaller. A pocket park is an ideal play area for children, space for relaxing or a community gathering site. One of the unique and exciting characteristics of pocket parks is that they are often created out of vacant lots or otherwise forgotten spaces. Many pocket parks result from community groups, private entities or foundations reclaiming these spaces for the benefit of the local neighborhood.

On a recent Saturday morning, the First Street Coalition, a group of dedicated community volunteers, held its 6th Annual East 131st Corridor Beautification kick-off event. The event was held on the future site of the East 131st Street Memorial Pocket Park at the corner of East 131st Street and Glendale Avenue in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Cleveland.

The First Street Coalition, a grassroots organization comprised mainly of retired residents, has been active in the neighborhood since coming together in 1988 to create curb appeal along the East 131st Street corridor as the traffic pattern increased due to the construction of I-480. The group develops and implements ideas to improve safety in the Mt. Pleasant/Union-Miles East 131st Street corridor, including expanding block watch activities, adding street furniture, cleaning up litter, and performing weeding and reporting illegal dumping and overgrown vacant lots.

The memorial pocket park will bring a beautiful, sustainable green space to the former site of an old, abandoned gas station. The City of Cleveland demolished the long-shuttered gas station in 2020 after significant environmental remediation work. The Cuyahoga Land Bank acquired the property via tax foreclosure and transferred the lot to the First Street Coalition.

“We were approached with the idea of the pocket park by Tahia Herd, Project Manager of the First Street Coalition,” says Marcelina Śladewska, Special Projects Manager for the Cuyahoga Land Bank. “We were impressed with her plan for sustainability and the community partners supporting the project.”  Those collaborating on the project include St. Luke’s Foundation, LAND Studio, Thriving Communities Institute, Concerned Citizens Community Council, and Envision Cleveland. “It’s exciting to see this space being transformed into an open space for the entire neighborhood to enjoy.”

Pocket parks, also known as miniparks, are urban open spaces, usually only a few house-lots in size or smaller. A pocket park is an ideal play area for children, space for relaxing or a community gathering site. One of the unique and exciting characteristics of pocket parks is that they are often created out of vacant lots or otherwise forgotten spaces. Many pocket parks result from community groups, private entities or foundations reclaiming these spaces for the benefit of the local neighborhood.

On a recent Saturday morning, the First Street Coalition, a group of dedicated community volunteers, held its 6th Annual East 131st Corridor Beautification kick-off event. The event was held on the future site of the East 131st Street Memorial Pocket Park at the corner of East 131st Street and Glendale Avenue in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Cleveland.

The First Street Coalition, a grassroots organization comprised mainly of retired residents, has been active in the neighborhood since coming together in 1988 to create curb appeal along the East 131st Street corridor as the traffic pattern increased due to the construction of I-480. The group develops and implements ideas to improve safety in the Mt. Pleasant/Union-Miles East 131st Street corridor, including expanding block watch activities, adding street furniture, cleaning up litter, and performing weeding and reporting illegal dumping and overgrown vacant lots.

The memorial pocket park will bring a beautiful, sustainable green space to the former site of an old, abandoned gas station. The City of Cleveland demolished the long-shuttered gas station in 2020 after significant environmental remediation work. The Cuyahoga Land Bank acquired the property via tax foreclosure and transferred the lot to the First Street Coalition.

“We were approached with the idea of the pocket park by Tahia Herd, Project Manager of the First Street Coalition,” says Marcelina Śladewska, Special Projects Manager for the Cuyahoga Land Bank. “We were impressed with her plan for sustainability and the community partners supporting the project.”  Those collaborating on the project include St. Luke’s Foundation, LAND Studio, Thriving Communities Institute, Concerned Citizens Community Council, and Envision Cleveland. “It’s exciting to see this space being transformed into an open space for the entire neighborhood to enjoy.”

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