José Barajas leans over a bucket of river rock, painstakingly separating last fall’s leaves and placing them in the bed under the bench at the Parklet on Main Ave just outside of Wollnick’s General Store. No detail is too small for You Express Studio (YES), a collaborative group of young professionals who apply design principles to improve the community.
Following the popularity of the 2015 pilot program for the Main Ave Parklet, the decision was made to bring it back for summer 2016. There is a huge demand in downtown Spokane for more high-quality public space, especially seating areas. Parklets have been tested in communities large and small across the US and have been found to be a modular, compact, and cost effective way to meet that demand.
The Parklets were designed, funded, and built through a private initiative of YES. The Downtown Spokane Partnership and Business Improvement District (Downtown Spokane) provides policy, maintenance and communication support for the project.
"I was pleased to be able to sponsor a resolution to extend the Parklet Pilot project for an additional year. It was a huge success for the short time it was in operation last year," says City Council Member Lori Kinnear. "I appreciate YES for donating their time, the businesses for sponsoring and DSP for their support."
Just in time for July’s First Friday a new Parklet will be installed at the Orlison Brewing tasting room on West First. “One of our goals this year is to focus on programming these Parklets and invite performance artists to participate,” says Barajas.
The Parklet is available to the community and all of the businesses in proximity to it. Anyone can use it! If you notice problematic behavior, notify sponsor company staff and/or Downtown Spokane Security Ambassadors at 509.353.9111. If you would like to reserve the Parklet for a special event, please coordinate with Wollnick’s and Orlison.