Hydrangea Garden Community Plaza Park
Construction of a Hydrangea Garden Community Plaza Park on a vacant lot in the historic commercial hub of Marlborough is a hands-on community engagement opportunity and a catalyst for restoring neighborhood vibrancy.
The Marlborough Community Coalition purchased a vacant Land Bank lot at 8112 Paseo, in the historic 1920’s commercial hub of the five Marlborough neighborhoods. This four-block long district is known as Marlborough Village. The Coalition is working on many fronts to make Marlborough Village once again a vibrant place to live, work and visit.
Construction of a Hydrangea Garden Community Plaza Park on the vacant lot will be a community gathering space for respite and reflection, portable art displays, temporary art installations, small scale musical and theatrical performances, and outdoor learning focused on the arts and environment and neighborhood stewardship. Community members are planning the park. They will be involved in the construction. They will be responsible for its maintenance.
The Community Capital Fund of Kansas City is generously providing a $20,000 grant to kick-start the project in 2016. To meet the match requirement of the Community Capital Fund grant and outreach activities of the project, we need to raise an additional $3,500. Thank you for your support!
1. April 16, 2016 Project Kick-Off (10am-noon)
Students from the Marlborough Community Center will create a mural on-site. A memorial bench honoring the Coalition’s founding president, Betty Ost Everly, will be installed. The bench was commissioned by Betty’s high school class reunion committee. Detailed garden plans will be available for review and volunteers can learn how they can be involved.
2. KCMO Brown Fields Study completed. Install Project sign/banner (April)
3. Unwanted trees and brush cleared. Weed. Grading as needed. Add soil amendments. Collect cardboard for mulching (May –June)
4. Lay cardboard and wood chip mulch. Build compost bin. Secure plants. Build stone retaining wall (July – Aug)
5. Plant! Plant! Plant! (Sept –Oct)
why we’re doing it
The history of the Marlborough neighborhoods mirrors the larger story of Kansas City’s growth, decline, and current search for sustainable models of community-building. Some Marlborough neighborhoods were developed in the early 1900’s, with others in the coming to life in a 1940’s unincorporated setting. We believe the catalysts for revitalization of our five neighborhoods and the historic Marlborough Village commercial district are based in the innovation and inspiration that the arts and the natural environment offer us.
Unlike the trash clean-up days that residents participate in several times each year, the Hydrangea Park and Community Plaza is a hands-on community engagement opportunity for residents to make a long-lasting neighborhood improvement instilling community pride and building new relationships.
The project will provide service learning opportunities through the initial plantings, the multiple uses of the park as a community space, and in the ongoing maintenance needs. One such program will focus on teaching youth to respect and value public and private property as vandalism, littering, loitering has been a problem in Marlborough Village. Another program will engage independently living seniors in harvesting flowers and making sachets, jams and other products from garden plants to be shared with seniors who come to a day care business and those who live in a designated apartment building, both located in Marlborough Village.
The potential uses of the park for outdoor performance and art display are endless, From spoken word and poetry events to art displays associated with the annual Marlborough Arts Festival to a summer mini-concert series featuring musicians living in the neighborhood – the Hydrangea Garden Community Plaza Park will breathe in the diverse soul of our residents and breath out hope for the improved social and economic well being of our neighbors.