The City of Hyattsville purchased an adjacent lot to some already city-owned land to create the current park footprint. Since removing wild growth and a vacant home on the site, not much has been added in the way of park infrastructure. Now, agencies are ready to explore how the land can better serve the city. We were brought in to lead a full co-design process, bringing together city employees, neighbors, and our staff designers.
Most of the park’s users are residents of the surrounding blocks. The community garden is so popular with neighbors that there is a waiting list to get a plot. Located on a major walking route to the subway station, the West Hyattsville Metro stop is just under a mile away, lots of commuters pass the park on their way to and from work, opening the possibility for a larger user base and the setting of city-wide events.
One of our main goals with the project was to challenge the City to explore new possibilities. We accomplished this by leaving behind the age-old charette, instead favoring fun, creative activities, designed by our staff, such as a ‘dating profile’ and pairing a realistic scenario with a fantastical one to spur imagination.
The output of our engagement work was this design by staff members Allie O’Neil and Laura Kendrick featuring a tree allée and lighted walk along the Hamilton Street border, a multi-use outdoor stage, and new play equipment and seating.