A portion of asphalt landscape located in Historic Downtown Fremont will soon be transformed into a scenic area for people to enjoy conversation, a cup of coffee or perhaps even a good book.
From Sept. 1-21, the parking lot located on the corner of Fifth Street and Park Avenue, directly behind the May Brothers Building, will serve as the location of a pilot project that will turn the barren lot into a greenspace for the better part of a month.
Shannon Mullen, executive director of Mainstreet of Fremont, said that talk of creating a Pop-up Park has been going on for the better part of two years. Glen and Nancy Ellis, owners of the May Brothers Building, played a pivotal role with planning, she said.
“This was a brainchild of a project that Glen and Nancy Ellis had envisioned for this particular parking lot area,” Mullen said during a Tuesday interview with the Tribune. “They were hoping at some point to make this a permanent greenspace that the downtown would be able to enjoy, where people would be able to go and enjoy lunch, have activities and just enjoy a nice calm area.”
The endgame, Mullen said, will be to have a permanent greenspace somewhere in the downtown area, but that a pilot project allows her and others to assess just how much use it will get. A pilot project also saves some initial expense.
“It’s totally a test before you invest type thought process here,” she said.
A large portion of the Pop-up Park is being funded through grants, Mullen said. The total expense of the project is approximately $18,000, and about $12,000 is funded through grants.
A greenspace will add to the aesthetic appeal of this particular area of downtown.
“We have so much concrete from First (Street) all the way up, it’s pretty much just parking lot, after parking lot, after parking lot,” Mullen said. “We have 11 parking lots in the downtown area, so we didn’t feel like the parking was an issue at this point, but that green space was really lacking.
The Pop-up Park project, while temporary, will momentarily solve that issue.
The concept for the park was created by Siffring Landscaping & Garden Center, LLC. A large amount of dirt will be placed in certain areas of the now-vacant lot to sustain plant life. A variety of trees, shrubs, rocks and flowers are shown in the current design layout. A large area for sitting and completion of activities is present in the center area of the greenspace.
Private citizens have also played a role in funding the Pop-up Park, Mullen said.
“People can invest not just in this particular park, but they can take a piece of it home afterward,” she said. “So you can actually invest in an evergreen tree, and after this promotion is over – obviously it will be watered and taken care of – Siffring has agreed to if somebody adopts a tree, one, we will give them special recognition within the park itself, and then they will actually bring that tree to their home if it is within 30 miles and plant it for them.”
Anybody interested in this opportunity is being asked to contact Mainstreet of Fremont at 402-721-2264.
The park itself will take three to five days to construct, and another two or so days to tear down after Sept. 21. Mullen encourages people to stop by the Pop-up Park, it’s a pretty unique concept, she said.
From what she can tell, people are excited about it.
“We’ve had really good response so far,” Mullen said. “Part of the plan is to make sure we have activity-based events around the park itself. So we will do some tailgating events, we will do music events and the Artisan Market will happen on the normal day as usual.
“So it’s just an enhancement to our downtown. It’s hard for people to not be positive about a greenspace or a park, there’s nothing that isn’t positive about it.”