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.
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.
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.