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dubone

Charlotte's Pocket Parks and Small Open Spaces

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I'm mainly only familiar with uptown (I'm carless and leave 28202 only a few times a month), so I'll list the places I know of uptown. But this thread should also be about little parks and private open spaces in other urban neighborhoods too.

While it is noble for the county to plan fairly decently sized parks in each ward, the small pocket parks add a very important component to urban living. There are very few back yards that are included around residences uptown, so these shared open spaces provide a place to sit and relax, play with your kids, or play with your dog (unfortunately, that last one is illegal). These small parks help offset some heat island effects, as well as allow for a more private outdoor experience in the midst of a growing urban center. We aren't at the point of total density yet, but the developers and the city are actively trying to get there.

Here are some of the small parks and open spaces I know of:

In First Ward:

- The linear park or median of East 9th Street

- The Trinity Episcopal School field

- The green area around Garden District Drive

- The open space behind the African American Cultural Center that is planned for eventual redevelopment

- The green area around M Street

- The open space along Caldwell on Levine's land that is planned for eventual redevelopment

In Second Ward:

- The landscaped area around City Hall and the old County Courthouse

- The landscaped courtyard of the Central Jail

- The planned linear park along 3rd Street which is currently part of Marshall Park

- The planned 2nd Ward park which is currently part of open space around the Aquatic center

- The small forgotten pocket park that is part of the Charlotte Plaza building

- The Green (of course), the famous pocket park on a Wachovia parking deck

In Third Ward:

- The Carillon's park at Trade and Church

- The landscaped yard of BofA Stadium and associated greenway under the tracks

- The yards of the federal Courthouse

- (Third Ward has the planned Bearden Park, the existing Frazier Park, and a planned dog park)

In Fourth Ward:

- Open space in Gateway Village

- The massive open space of Elmwood/Pinewood Cemetary

- The yards of First Presbyterian

- The Settlers Cemetary

- Small courtyards in 5th & Poplar, 400 N Church, and 525 N Tryon

- 9th Street Children's Park

- The yards of the Circle school on N Graham

- The yards of Edwin Towers

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I love Sedgefield Park. Aside from the usual park amenities, it provides a great pedestrian connection between Poindexter and Ideal Way. Without that connection, very few people in Sedgefield would have pedestrian access to the businesses on Park Road. I walk through Sedgefield Park frequently to get to Bi Lo, Ed's, Comet Grill, and Ru Sans - all of which would be well outside a convenient walking radius without that connection.

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My favorite park is Freedom Park and when Festival at the Park takes place. It's a hidden treasure. I'm glad that Charlotte is making efforts towards preserving space NOW well they can for parks, before everything gets built up. Somewhere the question was brought up, what would NYC be if they didn't have built Central Park? Certainly a lot different and it would be next to impossible to bring it after so much large development has taken place. Although all of these pocket parks are needed, especially spread out where development is looking to take place, I hope that before long a large central park/mixed use park can find a home just for the assurance of our future.

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Well, since we're not talking about regular parks, I think there is are some more in 3rd Ward. There is a pocket park like thing over on Cedar Street between Clarkson & Greenleaf. Its near the Panthers practice fields. Decent skyline view from there as I recall. There is also a decent linear park planned on 3rd St to connect Tryon and Bearden Park.

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I'm not sure if it's fair to label all of these as true pocket parks/open spaces. For instance, the yards of the federal courthouse have a nice little sign on the fence reminding you that this is U.S. government property and no trespassing/loitering is allowed. And do they actually ever do anything on the grounds of First Presbyterian? Having the playground there, I'd think so but I've never actually seen it in use.

I think Carillon's pocket park is a joke and is essentially a waste of space. For starters, you've got the trees along the Church St. side that effectively function as a fence which pretty much defeats the purpose of being an open space. The actual "yard" portion has this mini groove in it that pretty much makes it useless for anything functional.

Another one that could potentially be added here is the island in the roundabout along Davidson in First Ward.

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Even though its not really a pocket park I consider the 4th Ward Park to be a "pocket" park because it is small. It is the perfect place to eat your lunch especially on a beautiful day like today. I also have noticed they have an Owl in that park that has "hooted" at me a couple times when I pass through at night.

The open space in First Ward behind the Afro Am is slated to remain open space even after Afro Am moves away. At one time there was a plan to develop that city owned land with Townhomes but the neighborhood fought back and the City has committed to keep it open space. If First Ward were to do a children's park like 4th Ward just did then this would be a good place for it.

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Thats a good point krazee. Its still worth noting the urban greenspaces, good or bad, but it may be worth specifying which would be worth calling a functional "pocket park" versus those that are just "pocket greenspaces."

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