The first thing we learn in Graphic Design is that white space is a good thing. As a student, I had a hard time with that concept in my design and in other aspects of my life. I use to get really nervous unless I was talking or someone else was, like when there was a lull in the conversation. I felt like I needed to fill every quiet space with words. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned the value of quiet, white space and space in all aspects of my life.
One of the many things I love about this Valley is that it is so much like a big, beautiful white canvas. Take the Church Ball Park for example. One day it is a place for the young ones to learn the to play football, on another day it is a place for us to come together to raise funds for one of our townspeople, still on another day while it is being watered, it becomes a place to skim board. It is a highly functional space that can be anything we want it to be at any given time.
Our Children’s Park could be very much a place like that. Unfortunately, the only usable space we have is a volleyball court, prone to weeds and not at all usable most of the time. The skate park area has become more dangerous than fun. Since we do not have sidewalks for the children to practice skateboarding, it is difficult for the children to use it for it’s intended purpose. While on the subject of sidewalks, the Children’s park is one of the few places where children can ride their bikes or power wheels safely away from the street.
What I would love to see is the removal of the skate area, the creation of a blank grassy area in place of the volleyball court and perhaps, if we could find a way, a play road for bikes and power wheels outlining the entire park.
- The Removal of the skate area – as explained earlier, it isn’t being used for it’s original purpose. While it is perfect for daredevils and small children’s big imaginations, it isn’t always safe. At the same time, it also takes up prime real estate next to the volleyball court. It may be expensive to move but I believe it will be worth it.
- The re-purposing of the Volleyball Court- The park has been designed to fill every space with purpose. And every space is taken by park equipment and sidewalks. Still, we can not know exactly what we will need at every moment of the year. Some days it would be nice to have a family reunion picnic, other times it would be great to have the space for yard games. If every space is taken for a specific purpose, the park becomes very limited and thereby less functional. We need that space for a myriad of functions.
- A Play Road away from the street- Sidewalks are out of the question. A walking path is a dream that keeps dying. And still, the children need a place to learn to ride their bikes and play with their power wheels or remote control cars. A play road would serve all these purposes and would be a fun play space all year round. If we could find a way to make one that circles the entire park, it would be great exercise for kids and parents walking alongside.
I know that the idea of having a splash pad during the summer is exciting and as the days get warmer, the idea just keeps getting better. But the truth is, we can purchase portable water features and find a place to store them during the rest of the year leaving the park available for other functions. Maintenance and set up would be a breeze making it more likely to have it done by summer.