Bloomfield’s First Parklet to Debut at Annual Harvest Fest

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Bloomfield’s First Parklet to Debut at Annual Harvest Fest

FLYER

BLOOMFIELD – The Bloomfield Department of Health and Human Services will be unveiling the township’s first urban parklet Saturday, Oct. 6, at Harvest Fest, as part of an innovative and dynamic approach to creating more outdoor public spaces downtown.

The portable interactive parklet will be set up along Broad Street near Barnes & Noble that morning and be on display all day. One parking space will be transformed into a 6 foot by 12 foot wooden area with benches, a shade sail, plants and chalkboard area. The parklet is being constructed by Bloomfield resident and contractor Matt Mulvey of Mulvey Custom Contracting with a N.J. Healthy Communities grant.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to introduce the parklet concept to residents and get their feedback,” said Karen Lore, director of health and welfare for the Bloomfield Department of Health and Human Services. “Communities are trending toward more walkable and pedestrian friendly space. Parklets are one example of how that transformation can occur one space at a time.”

For now, the purpose of introducing the parklet at Harvest Fest is to maximize its visibility so residents can actually see what a parklet is and understand its use and purpose. Parklets are typically assembled for seasonal use when residents are out and about enjoying the nice weather. No decision has been made on where the parklet will ultimately be placed.

The parklet movement has been taking hold across New Jersey with neighboring Montclair successfully placing the “mini-parks” in key locations in town. Streets comprise 30-40 percent of all public spaces, according to John Sullivan, vice president of Bike&Walk Montclair, meaning roughly one-third of public space is dedicated to one activity — driving.

"These temporary conversions of on-street parking spaces into inviting public spaces promote and prolong spontaneous interaction, which are of economic benefit to businesses,” Sullivan said. “The goal of this particular one is to initiate conversation and obtain feedback from visitors on how these unique structures might help reimagine the streets of Bloomfield as places for people."

The 26th annual Harvest Fest is scheduled to run Saturday, Oct. 6, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. along Broad Street (between Bloomfield and Belleville avenues). The free festival attracts more than 20,000 visitors each year and features family-friendly activities, such as amusement rides, a petting zoo and other carnival attractions, live music, more than a dozen food trucks and hundreds of vendors selling various products and distributing valuable information.

 

The event is sponsored by the Bloomfield Center Alliance (BCA) – the nonprofit entity that manages the township’s downtown business improvement district.  

 

For more information on the parklet or to provide feedback, contact the Department of Health and Human Services at 973-680-4024. For information about any of the department's programs or services, visit http://www.bloomfieldtwpnj.com/health-human-services/.

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