Building a Pocket Park in Marianna, Florida (Part 2)

This week, we’re wrapping up a community project we started last week to bring hope to my hometown.

Marianna, Florida is my hometown, and in late 2018 it was devastated by Hurricane Michael. This building on the town square was destroyed in the storm and the vacant lot it left behind was a daily reminder of the devastation.

So, I wanted to create something positive to fill the space.

Working with Long-Time Friends

This was the right project to re-energize Marianna, but I needed help to make it happen, so I called on my buddies who still live there.

Paul is an architect, and he put together the plan for a pocket park. Victor is the organizational wiz who lined up the details, and Mickey, well, everybody loves Mickey, and he was the right guy to drum up community support.

So, Chelsea and I headed to Marianna.

Two workers build a wooden stage and backdrop in Marianna, Florida

The Progress We’ve Made

More than 150 volunteers turned out to lend a hand for this pocket park. In just two days, we’ve cleared the old slab, built a stage, installed six enormous wood planters, built a paver planter, and constructed a retaining wall at the entryway.

We knew, from the beginning, that we need to divide the work into off-site and on-site projects.

One of the off-site projects was building gigantic planters, and Marianna High School students tackled that project. Another off-site project was building picnic tables.

Workers move heavy picnic tables, with construction machinery, into a pocket park in Marianna, Florida

Immovable Picnic Tables

Scott Phelps, the construction tech instructor at Chipola College, guided students who tackled the picnic tables. Each table is made of 100 pieces and it takes five people to move one around, so no one will take them from the park!

These students also created the park’s sign that will provide an entryway.
Building the Entryway

We set two steel posts that will support the park’s sign — then we wrap them in pavers to dress up the entry.

Building 9-foot-tall paver columns, and creating a paver block wall to flow behind those posts, will make this one eye-catching entrance.  


  1. I can’t wait till tomorrow morning, Sunday, February 13. We will watch the conclusion of your Pocket Park episode. We get up every morning at 5:00 am and I discovered your show about 6 months ago. My husband loves it too. Your show comes on at 5:30 and it is so much fun watching you, Chelsea and the rest of your crew, remodel homes, and I love to see how you improve them. We’re in our early 70’s but love to see how you help people change a room into something much better. I’m hoping when the Covid situation is better, you will have more shows to do. We think you, Chelsea and your crew, make us look forward to Sunday morning to see what you’ve been up to.

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed these episodes, Jill! Please share our website with friends — that’s how we’re able to create similar content.
      Thanks for commenting!

  2. I was so excited to see the program about the pocket park. I live in a condo community with an unusable tennis court that we would like to convert to 1) a raised bed garden 2) a community area/park, as funds allow.
    I’m curious if you removed all the buildings old flooring down to the dirt?
    The planters in your park are only for flowers and shrubbery? Nothing edible?
    Because of where our courts are located we can’t get heavy equipment in to remove the old surface, only a skid loader, and the bid for taking the old material to the dump is more than we can afford. I think we can safely build the raised beds directly on the old court surface. There are many large cities that have roof top gardens and there are other examples of gardens on the old tennis court surface. But I’m curious if you have any insight that we could draw upon?
    BTW your program airs in Colorado Springs at 5:30 am, a tad early for this retired lady, but I still get up to watch the show.


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