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

Theresa Vickery, of Marianna, Florida, works in a container garden at a downtown pocket park

Softening the Look

My buddy Mickey is this project’s on-site coordinator. He keeps volunteers’ spirits up as they work on all kinds of tasks, liking planting plants to soften the park’s look.

That’s not my strong suit, but it is Victor’s wife, Theresa’s, talent.

She makes sure we have low-maintenance, drought-resistant plants for this Northwest Florida region. Theresa knows where to position the plants and directs volunteers on where to place everything.


Purple and gold shade sail, seen over a pocket park in Marianna, Florida

Installing Shade Sail

We top this pocket park with purple-and-gold shade sails, which have special meaning because they are Marianna High School’s colors. Go Bulldogs!

Town pride aside, shade sail also prevents the park’s visitors from being completely exposed to the sun, perfect for particularly sunny days.

Besides that little chore, there are also lots of other details that need to be handled so we can get this park ready to open up to the public.


“Today’s Homeowner” host Danny Lipford installs cafe lights in a pocket park in downtown Marianna, Florida

Finishing Touches

This pocket park in my hometown is nearing completion, with dozens and dozens of plants going into the nine different planters on the site.

And of course, those plants need water, so we’re also camouflaging the plumbing with pavers.

Finally, to illuminate this park after dark, we hang over 500 feet of cafe lights.

Before we park the heavy equipment, we bring in the picnic tables to fill in the park space and get it ready for the grand opening.


“Today’s Homeowner” hosts Danny Lipford and Chelsea Lipford Wolf, seen at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of a pocket park in Marianna, Florida

Symbol of Hope

Now, an empty lot that once was a bad reminder of a bad time has become a symbol of hope.

Besides adding some greenery and tranquility to the middle of town, this little park also serves as a testament to what people can overcome and accomplish when they work together.


Other Tips From This Episode

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Hope for a Hometown logo

Read more about our “Hope for a Hometown” series — with exclusive articles, videos and a photo gallery from this special project.

6 COMMENTS

  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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