Summer in New Canaan will be a bit more picturesque and pedestrian friendly this year.
The New Canaan Police Commission approved a request to allow the Pop-Up Park to operate every weekend of May, June, July and August.
The park, which was assembled on four weekends in 2012, takes up the road on South Avenue between Elm and Cherry streets. Tables, chairs, potted plants and even a portable fountain are brought in to create a relaxing and open public space.
The move comes after the Pop-Up Park generated acclaim from many arms of town government, a survey of residents, and an article in "The Wall Street Journal," which said it contributed to the "picturesque" and "pedestrian-friendly" nature of New Canaan.
"The bottom line is that the project was a home run on so many levels," said Tucker Murphy, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, at the police commission meeting. "We even saw (the Community Emergency Response Team) have a meeting there, which was so fun."
Since it will be open every weekend, Murphy envisioned a practice of signing the park out to various local nonprofits, which would be responsible for setting up and cleaning the area each weekend. Murphy recalled how she and volunteer Jeff Holland spent several Sunday nights picking up trash and packing up the chairs and assorted equipment. Murphy said the organizations could use the space to showcase their projects and activities.
She noted that no businesses would be able to use the park.
"No money can be transacted. There will be nothing for sale ever," she said in response to a question from a member of the Police Commission.
Not only does the park offer a public space for people to enjoy the town, but it also will bring positive economic consequences, Murphy said after the meeting.
"The real impetus behind the whole park is that I've been reading so much over the last few years about revitalizing communities and what makes communities attractive, and there's this whole movement for public places. This is the type of thing that brings people to town, aside from the obvious, that it's a nice place for people to be and spend time together."
After a public call for names for the park, which seems to have outgrown its "pop-up" moniker, Murphy said the newly formed Pop-Up Park Committee is mulling over several, including "Shangri La," "The Spot," "God's Half Acre," "North on South," and "Joy of New Canaan."
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