Something wonderful is happening on the West Side. Our community is coming together to work on a project that benefits everyone in the neighborhood and it will even have a positive effect for the whole town. Heberlig Palmer Park is a hidden gem in our neighborhood that is ripe with possibilities (between N.Pitt, N. West, Lincoln St., A St). Many people don’t even know it exists because it is so well hidden from the street. It already has some great facilities like a pavilion and playground equipment but it can also be seen as a blank canvas with so many opportunities for improvement. Neighbors have been working since May 2013 to design an improvement plan for the park that includes recreational upgrades for people of all ages, not only targeted towards children.
Why did we choose this project? The landscape of Northwest Carlisle is being transformed in part by the Carlisle Urban Redevelopment Plan and the demolition of the Carlisle Tire and Wheel and Masland Plants. The Plan encourages renovations within the surrounding neighborhood and we were aware that the first priority of the business owners would be the factory sites and other improvements would have to come from a grassroots effort. We saw the park as an underused resource and it provided a great opportunity to get the community energized about a project that is for everyone. Other groups, like the Greater Carlisle Project, are joining in to make sure this project is successful by spreading the word and getting even more people involved. Please consider joining in too! All are welcome!
We approached this project with the specific needs of residents in the neighborhood in mind. When you look at the location of Heberlig Palmer you see that it is placed in the middle of a diverse community. Statistically, the makeup of our NW community has the highest number of housing units (half rentals) with many being elderly and low income housing and we have a high number of community organizations, most of which offer services to residents living on subsidized incomes. One recurring need that these organizations help to address is food insecurity. Project Share’s Farm Stand sits on the South East corner of Heberlig Palmer Park and Shiloh Baptist Church sits on the South West corner. Both provide free meals or groceries to Carlisle residents in need. Also in our community is Carlisle Cares, Sadler Health Center and Safe Harbor is just on the other side of High Street. All of this made us want to help provide food for our community continually by choosing edible landscaping instead of ornamental plants and trees.
When looking at ways to expand what the park had to offer to children we opted in install natural playscapes so children can use natural elements to climb and play on instead of investing in another large, prefabricated, expensive piece of playground equipment. Natural playscapes can include a variety of options such as boulders, wooden climbing walls, slides built into the hillside and making use of other natural elements to encourage imagination and creative play.
This park plan is designed to connect the community through the installation of a natural amphitheater for performances or viewing sports events and the expansion of the picnic area with new grills and tables. Additional recreation opportunities for people of all ages include chess/checkers game tables, a walking path and raised beds for gardening.
Thanks to a Community Block Grant of $27,000 that was provided through the Elm Street Project, we have some starting funds to break ground on the path in Spring 2014. We will need much more than that though. This is a project where we will need to do some considerable fundraising but that doesn’t only mean monetary donations but also in-kind donations of materials and labor. We need help from anyone who can give us support. If you want to give a financial donation, we are using the Downtown Carlisle Association’s 501c3 non-profit status as our fiscal agent, so you can make a tax deductible donation. We know some people really can’t give much so anything would show that you care and want to see this project funded.
If you, or someone you know, can help us with labor or materials we want to hear more from you! For labor, we will need to work with landscapers, electricians, stone masons, tree trimmers, land surveyors, plumbers and possibly other trades. We will need things like lumber, bricks, stone pavers, concrete blocks, gravel, landscaping boulders, felled trees for a number of different projects. This doesn’t mean that all of these items need to be brand new either. We are want to build a sustainable park and using recycled or salvaged materials when available will show that everything in the park doesn’t need to come straight from a store. We could use paint, stain, seeds or plant starts, and many other things that might be sitting unused in your garage or basement.
List of Park Enhancements:
Crushed Gravel Path
In ground lights (light up trees/posts)
Raised Garden Beds
Edible Landscaping, Shrubs, Fruit Trees
For more information, please contact:
Carlisle neighbors kickstart park crowdfunding campaign