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Author Archives: Visualize Nashua

Nashua Patch: Park(ing) Day!

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Reclaiming the City, One Parking Spot at a Time

By Carol Robidoux, September 21, 2012, originally posted in Nashua Patch.

Green space, bike infrastructure, community gardens and room to create, all things that make city life more vibrant.

Homa Jaferey and Hilary Grubbs are playing Scrabble in the street.

Manny Ramirez is spray-painting a sudden work of art on a blank canvas.

Paul Shea is relaxing next to a pop-up container garden.

Tom Lopez and James Vayo are standing on the sidewalk next to a guerrilla street display meant to energize the conversation about creating a more dynamic downtown.

It’s all part of Park(ing) Day, a national awareness campaign to engage residents in the things that make a city livable, sustainable and useful.

Vayo, of Renaissance Downtowns, reserved three parking spaces outside his storefront at 88 Main Street and filled the space with plants borrowed from Countrybrook Farms in Hudson, and purchased 200 square feet of sod from Tim’s Turf in Litchfield. He borrowed a bike rack from Goodale’s Bike shop, and got an assist in the art department from Positive Street Art and Adam Brown of Skatewise Skateshop.

Shea volunteered to populate one of the three parking spaces with a raised bed garden in an effort to promote the idea of expanding on the city’s community garden program.

“At Visualize Nashua meetings we’ve talked about expanding the city’s community garden space – we do have a great community garden at Greeely Park,  but there’s a waiting list for that,” Shea said.

He brought tomatoes and pumpkins from his home garden, and picked up two fruit trees, along with a butterfly bush.

“It immediately attracted butterflies, so that was a good investment,” Shea said.

He is looking for more people interested in community gardens contact him directly at [email protected]

Vayo said the reactions from people walking by really made the event worthwhile.

“I saw the value on people’s faces, who stopped to ask what was going on and their general demeanor of happiness to see a green space downtown,” Vayo said.

As Park(ing) Day happens in small pockets around the country, Vayo said the bigger picture idea, of reclaiming public space, is meaningful locally, here in Nashua, where he’d like to see this kind of event happen annually, and grow beyond three parking spaces – perhaps having downtown businesses join in and create pop-up sidewalk sales.

“Celebrating that public space for pedestrians is a key message. I hope in the future others will want to participate in that it will start a discussion about the types of uses we want for out downtown, we being the community,” Vayo said.

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Name: Visualize Nashua
Website: http://visualizenashua.com


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Park(ing) Day!

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Name: Visualize Nashua
Website: http://visualizenashua.com


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Summer Going Local Campaign

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It’s time for the Going Local Campaign Summer Edition! June 11th 2012 – August 13th 2012 – Learn More

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Name: Visualize Nashua
Website: http://visualizenashua.com


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May 2012 Survey Results!

Thank you for participating in the May 2012 Visualize Nashua survey!

As you can see in the results chart below, artist studios, live music venue, a year-round farmers market and an art center are all equally popular. We’ll work with Jack Haney who represents the Franklin St. Mill building, and the champions for each of the most popular ideas as to who’s the most willing to build a market for  that particular use.

The two most popular ideas for the Riverfront Promenade are the cafe-style seating area (tables and chairs on brick-paved area) and the open picnic area (grassy area). It shows people value open green space and outdoor dining, especially alongside the river. Stay tuned for the next iteration of the Bridge St. site plan to reflect this.

Finally 33 people expressed interest in living in the greater downtown, or 85% of those who responded to the question, with 12% of the membership responding. This is a work in progress :)

All surveys will be archived here.

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Name: Visualize Nashua
Website: http://visualizenashua.com


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Visualize Nashua’s Recap for March

Here’s a recap of what Visualize Nashua was up to in March, with a preview for April!

Campaigns

Outreach

  • Visualize Nashua’s March Meetup – We had an excellent turnout, with a surprise visit from Renaissance Downtowns CEO, Don Monti. The meeting resulted in forward progress toward a year-round farmers market, a park project for the Big Day of Serving, and preparation for the Franklin St. Mill tour.
  • The Franklin Street Mill Tour – Franklin Street Mill Tour attendance tripled expectations with 180 people! Collaboration among the attendee’s resulted in developer representative Jack Heaney looking to hold another mill tour for banks and city officials. VizNash held an excellent brainstorming exercise and followed up with an idea page for the Mill, featuring an idea inspired by those championing artist studios..
  • March Visualize Nashua Social Hour – The monthly Social Hour was at M.T. Local on Main Street, with about two dozen in attendance and discussion covering the Bridge Street development, farmers market, and the next monthly meetup. Several attendees went out for a group dinner afterwards and extended the discussion regarding farming issues.
  • Critical Mass Ride – There were only eight in attendance at the ride which was on a cold afternoon, but the eight made it great! This is a seasonal event and as the weather warms we will start to get a larger crowd rolling down Main Street!

Next Month

  • Monthly Meetup
  • Launching of Franklin St. Mill Campaign
  • April Viz(Nash) Mob Event (Farmers Dinner)
  • Monthly Social Hour
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Name: Visualize Nashua
Website: http://visualizenashua.com


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