Aldrich Park is a neighborhood park located next to Bush Elementary. It is bounded by 14th Street, Mill Street, Strand Avenue, and Bellevue Street. It has open playfields, basketball courts, a playground, horseshoe pits, and a picnic shelter/gazebo.
In 2018, SESNA held its first annual Ice Cream Social at the Gazebo. We spent much of our time warning neighbors about the heaved and damaged floor, so they didn’t trip. We applied for a Salem Parks Improvement Grant to replace the floor, and were awarded $19,000 toward the project!
Is replacing a plain concrete slab with another plain slab the best we can do?
After an initial discussion with Bush Elementary Principal Tara Baldridge and Pamela Prosise of Willamette Art Center, we decided to expand the project and transform the gazebo with colorful art that reflects and respects the community in collaboration with area neighbors, Bush Elementary students, and Willamette Art Center.
What about the rest of Aldrich Park?
Does the park meet today’s neighborhood and community needs? Many of its amenities are nondescript and showing their age. SESNA plans to use the Gazebo project as a springboard to engage the community and find out what neighbors want and need from their neighborhood park.
What are the goals?
Transform the Aldrich Park Gazebo and the surrounding park into a focal point for the community:
- Celebrate the cultural diversity of our neighborhood
- Engage kids and adults of all abilities
- Inspire pride in our neighbors and kids at Bush Elementary.
The SESNA project team will continue discussing the Gazebo and park improvements at the March 26, 2019 meeting.
At this meeting, we will start planning an outreach effort to better understand what neighbors want from their neighborhood park and what artwork will reflect and respect the community. Who should we partner with? Whose voices need to be heard? Are there organizations, groups, or community leaders you know of who would like to help plan the project? How about designers who can help develop a vision?
All are welcome to come share ideas and join the team!
Timeline to Date
October 2018: SESNA applies for grant to replace broken gazebo floor. City estimates project, consisting only of removing and replacing existing plain concrete, at $21,500.
February 2019: SESNA awarded $19,000 toward project. Begins process of applying for additional grants. Starts exploring expansion of project to include improved floor and artwork; additional cost to be determined as scope of project changes.