## Park Strip Beautification Grant - Pueblo Play Park Strip 3257 Payne Avenue

Problem:

The park strip (the median between the sidewalk and road) in front of San Jose’s newest park at 3257 Payne, also known as Pueblo Play by the community, is dirt and unattractive. This park is in the heart of the Winchester Neighborhood Action coalition (WNAC). The images below depict the situation today and one of the possible solutions.

Solution:

The WNAC will lead a multi neighborhood association effort to “beautify” the park strip in front of Pueblo Play. We have already begun reaching out both for assistance and guidance to groups, such as Eden Neighborhood, Cadilac-Winchester and organizations like, Farmscape, Village Harvest and Our City Forest.

There are a number of possibilities for what we might do, including:

• Mulch/ground cover
• Drought tolerant plants and ground cover
• Pavers & concrete
• Combination of pavers and mulch/ground cover
• A linear orchard for a portion of the park strip[1]

The final design will be decided upon by a committee of the various stakeholders  and will consider budget, sustainability (e.g. who will maintain and how much will it cost to maintain) contributions from various groups, as well as what is permitted by the city of San Jose and its general ranking by the community.

Budget:

At the low-end, this project would need approximately 5 yards of mulch (4 feet wide strip, 375 feet long and 1 inch deep). At \$60/yard retail, this equates to \$300 in mulch. The linear orchard would still require mulch for the areas in between the trees.  Assuming the addition of  linear orchard and 4 trees with a planted cost of \$110 each, then the cost of a linear orchard would be \$440. In both cases, \$200 is assumed for the cost of dirt disposal, if needed, as well as \$150 in refreshments for volunteers.. In summary, the estimated costs are[2]:

• Mulch-only - \$300+\$200+\$150 = \$650
• Mulch plus linear orchard - \$300+\$440+\$150 = \$990
• Community Matching (same for either option) - estimated 20 volunteers at average of 4 hours = 80 volunteer hours at \$23/hour = \$1,840

Regarding the community contribution, a group of seven core volunteers have already volunteered to lead various aspects of this project.

Their efforts in organizing the project will be amplified by volunteers from the more than 10,000 households in the WNAC area; their volunteer efforts have already been proven on many projects, including this past summer’s placemaking event at Pueblo Play.

Additionally, the WNAC subcommittee will work with various vendors and partners to stretch the above budget request to create a project that will be a model for the city of San Jose. [3]

[1] This is modeled on what the city of Calgary is doing, http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Parks/Pages/Programs/Community-orchards-FAQ.aspx#what. The idea is to create a sort of mini-destination for the neighborhood; one where people would walk to publicly available fruit and . There would be a variety of trees that bloom/bear fruit at different times of the year, would be available to the public and would include placards that explain more about the fruit tree. This would also be a place for community education, where we could work with groups, such as Our City Forest, to teach pruning techniques, etc., that people could use for their own fruit trees. We would work with a group, such as Village Harvest, to pick and donate excess fruit to food banks. Further, we would work with the Department of Transportation to ensure such an innovative approach to using the public spaces would not affect transportation safety or cause waste issues (e.g. falling fruit).

[2] The paver option has not been explored, but, as possible, would be made to fit within the above budget, assuming that this is an option the community wants to pursue.

[3] Another good resource is http://homeorchard.ucanr.edu/The_Big_Picture/