Lansing Westside Pocket Park Gateway
About the Project
The project site is a triangular grassed median and lies between two major thoroughfares on Lansing’s West Side. Directly to the west of the project site is the neighboring jurisdiction of Lansing Township, yet there is no indication along either of these thoroughfares that one might be crossing into a new community when driving by. The median is bordered on either side by two distinct neighborhoods; the Old Oakland Neighborhood (to the north) and the Westside Neighborhood (to the south), which are both rich in diversity, culture, and history dating back to the early days of the automotive industry. The West Side, in general, has seen a significant amount of disinvestment over the past decades; however, West Side residents and businesses have a hearty commitment to revitalizing the main street and its underutilized properties. Within the last year, a new artisan restaurant called “Fork in the Road” moved into the lot directly to the east of the project site and since opening, the restaurant has become a destination for fine dining from residents of the surrounding region and beyond.
To develop gateway to the city of Lansing by transforming large grassed median near the entrance of the City from the west. A number of organizations from Lansing’s Westside will work together to erect a welcome sign and to maintain native plantings on the project site.
The gateway project will welcome commuters as they enter Lansing from the neighboring community of Lansing Township from the west. In the past, land to the immediate west of the site was comprised of primarily industrial land uses; particularly auto plants owned by General Motors, but in more recent times, these plants were demolished and currently sit as vast vacant grey lots. Creating a pocket park gateway near the entrance to the Westside will show travelers that they have entered a new and vibrant community with a strong sense of character. The gateway will showcase the pride that Lansing residents have in their hometown and elements in the sign will embody the cultural and historic characteristics of the community. The neighborhood shares deep roots with the automotive industry and as such, the community would like to incorporate elements into the welcome sign that depict elements of Lansing’s working-class culture. The proposed landscaping in this area will also serve to reduce the harshness of the surrounding grey and underutilized lots by creating a sense of life and growth from the vibrant native Michigan meadow plants. This project will complement the eventual “road diet” project occurring down Saginaw Road to the east, as both projects will assist with traffic-calming and create a safer environment for cyclists. The community believes that creating a “place” on this island is important in developing an identity for the Westside.Lansing Westside Pocket Park Gateway
Voting has now closed. You can view the 10 finalists here, or keep browsing all of the exciting community projects.