Sunday, September 6, 2009

8th Street Pocket Park: Phase 2

Phase 2 of the Pocket park is about to begin (a photo of the adjacent Phase 1 is above and click here for more info on the park). We received a neighborhood grant to work on the northeast side of the park, and this week will will start implementing the plan (see below).

Last Friday, the Missoula Parks and Recreation Department approved the landscape plan and plant species for the park. This was really good, in and of itself. In many ways, this pocket park is not a conventional park, and one of the ways is that is it falls entirely in the city right of way. Consequently, there are many regulations for what can be planted on the boulevard and related areas. In essence, this landscaping falls under a sort of street tree ordinance, and our proposed native plants do not occur in the city's preferred species list. However, after some discussion, we were granted approval to continue. It is great that the parks dept. saw the importance of a neighborhood garden and value of native plants.

In the photo below you can see the current condition of the park- not much to see and not much to do there, either (yes, that is the whole thing we will be landscaping, it is pretty small).

Below is the landscape plan for this part of the park. The main element in this next phase is a horseshoe court, as well as native plants. Starting this Wednesday night (7-8 pm) we will be preparing the site. Wednesday nights around 7 pm, will probably be a regular day and time to work on the garden, until hunting season, that is, and I guess until it gets dark. OK, so the dates and time could change, so, contact Marilyn to get on the email notification list.

Roughly here is the schedule: remove sod and weeds, install lawn edging around the perimeter of the park, install a split rail fence around the horseshoe court (and on the east boundary of the park, bring in compost and topsoil, form hills, install plants, and mulch the heck out of it. Finally, I'll add some more interpretive signs and the horse shoe pits.

This should go a lot faster than the first part of this project, so check back to see the progress.


  1. Good luck with it -- what a great thing that your local government is so supportive.

  2. Hello from England! Much enjoying your blog and every good wish for the pocket park. It's very interesting to read about the ordinances and 'approved plants'. This sort of enlightened urban planting is going on here too; one result of the current recession is a move to have pocket parks on buildings sites where development has halted for the time being. We also have quite a flourishing movement of 'guerilla gardeners' who scatter seeds or plant seedlings in desolate areas. If anything, our local councils are inventive in their species choice, although with an element of copycatting. Ginkgo biloba has appeared all over the place, although its foliage can be disappointingly thin. Too many councils are scared off planting big trees although not London; it's planes are fabulous.

    Great that you have created such a lovely garden with so little water. All warm wishes from

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  4. In my neighborhood and this is the first wind I've caught of the project! How wonderful and thanks for all of your work on this. Lovely lovely lovely!