Groundwork Studio has been working with the Wells Park Community since 2020 to envision, plan and redesign Wells Park and the adjacent vacant property (also known as the “Walker Property”). The process began with a 6 month public engagement process to develop a community based vision for the redevelopment of the vacant Walker Property just north of the Wells Park Community Center. During that time, community members shared stories, ideas and aspirations for the site and participated in multiple community meetings, focus groups, online engagement and surveys, temporary installations (including a giant chalkboard!) and other activities. The engagement process informed a broad vision for the site, providing the basis for the park redevelopment design.
Key challenges include balancing a variety of community request, activation of the space during the day and evenings, and renovation of the existing park to address concerns that have arisen over time. Multiple design layout options were developed and presented to the community, who responded with their preferences via online and paper surveys. Working closely with Parks and Recreation staff and in response to community feedback, Groundwork Studio generated a consolidated/preferred design that we are now developing into construction documents.
Multiple “pop up” events were held during 2021, allowing the design team to test the site for different types of activities, and further understand the stories of the Wells Park Neighborhood. These activities included installations during National Night Out, and the creation of a Wells Park Neighborhood Mural, in coordination with artist Julianna Kirwin.