At the start of 2021, SoWe acquired a vacant lot on the corner of Filbert and Fremont Sts. in the heart of the Cabbage Hill neighborhood in SoWe. You may remember this site because it housed a large billboard. SoWe first requested the removal of the billboard from the owner as it was beginning to fall. The billboard was unsightly in a dense residential neighborhood. After negotiations Lamar Advertising agreed to remove the billboard and donate the lot to the neighborhood.
The Southwest Revitalization Strategy for parks and public realm calls for creating additional open space amenities for the neighborhood. The SoWe Parks Committee has been diligently working to identify potential open space areas since its inception in 2016. The committee is excited to work with the community to create a small pocket park on this lot.
SoWe Parks Committee worked to engage the neighborhood to gather feedback on the space. The committee held a community engagement session in June of 2021 and gathered residents to hear feedback and watch films that celebrated Black filmmakers in honor of Juneteenth. Additionally, SoWe engaged residents and partners with experience with urban landscape design to act as a steering committee to guide the plan. The community envisioned a space that would be a healing place for reflection, provide additional green space and plantings, and public art.
We are excited to announce that we are ready to ‘break ground’ this April. The first phase of the plan is landscaping. On April 22nd, we are inviting community members for a volunteer workday to plant and spread mulch. We hope that you will join us to establish this pocket park as a healing garden and celebrate as a community. We will be joined by our partners the City of Lancaster, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and Penn State Master Gardeners. Following the planting day, we will continue to engage residents and a local artist to explore public art opportunities.