Community Progress Blog

Problem to Purpose: A Parking Lot Becomes a Beach?

Written by on January 21, 2020

Photo Credit: Freda Eisenberg

More than 30 percent of parents travel with their kids to a beach for enjoyment, but what do you do when the sand’s out of reach? One Sullivan, New York, community answered the question while converting a vacant space into a community asset.

Sprinkler Beach is a pop-up project imagined out of a joint effort between the Sullivan County Planning Department, Village of Monticello Department of Public Works and Fire Department, and Center for Workforce Development’s Youth Program.

The “beach” was created by kids painting an ocean and beach on an unused city parking lot and has beach chairs, lawn sprinklers, and “cabanas” that serve as hubs for healthy food tastings and meeting spaces for community visioning workshops on future lot ideas.

Freda Eisenberg, Sullivan County Planning Commissioner, said of the project: “[It] was a low-cost way of making something happen while we keep searching for the more than $3 million it will take to achieve the placemaking vision of a parking lot transformed to community commons.”

Need Ideas for a Community Creative Placemaking Project?

Download the “Trends in Creative Placemaking on Problem Properties: 2019 National Survey Findings” for data and real case studies of communities, like Oakland, where residents are solving community challenges while fighting vacancy.

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