Pocket Parks in the City

Today, I met my first little park in the Big Apple – New York City! In a city known for fashion, finance, and late night fun, I found a little surprise in the Barrio … aka Spanish Harlem.


Walking down 117th and Pleasant street in 14-degree weather I delighted in the sunshine dancing on the brownstones just as the clouds started to sneak in on the skyline. And as I picked up the pace to get inside, I stopped in my tracks at the site of a little open space between two buildings. There it was maybe twenty feet wide and fifty feet deep – a “pocket park.” The path meandered to a little gingerbread cottage where I knew kids would soon come to play. The sign on the gate referenced the community park being a part of the city’s effort to preserve open spaces.


There are many to see throughout the city and you can learn more, and find many, at http://www.pps.org.

New York streets may seem littered to some, but today I smiled with gratitude. New York founded the first national conservancy – known to all as Central Park – and now “pocket parks.” I picked up the pace and looked forward to the warmer weather when I could come back and play.

If we all looked for big opportunities in small spaces the entire country – and world – could pick big carrots from little gardens.