Kenmore residents approaching Kenmore Village probably saw an unusually green sight in the parking lot on May 6.
“That was really exciting to see somebody actually write us a ‘love note’ like that,” said Kenmore Mayor David Baker. “I was overwhelmed at the generosity and act of caring in the community involvement.”
According to Baker, his favorite activity at the new parklet is the beanbag toss.
This new addition, a parklet created by Mainstreet Property Group LLC, is one of the many ideas created during the “For the love of Kenmore” event hosted by the city last month.
“This is what the town square will feel like when it is complete and we wanted to gift the city that feeling now,” said Katie Cartwright, vice president of marketing and sales at Mainstreet. “We worked with our team from GenCap Construction, who are building The Spencer 68, and the MainStreet team to install it. The idea resonated with our entire team and momentum took over from there to surprise the city.”
Based of the TedTalks of Peter Kageyama, the For the Love of Kenmore event, and the ideas created during the event, are about helping create a sense of community ownership and pride among citizens of Kenmore.
“In the first day we received overwhelming positive response from the community. Everyone from small toddlers to business members to dogs have enjoyed the parklet,” Cartwright said. “Mayor David Baker was one of the first visitors to the park and was so thankful for the idea. In fact, he was the first to post it to his Facebook page and referred to it as Kenmore’s first ‘love note.'”
The first, of what the city hopes will be many, ideas brought to life is the parklet now open at Kenmore Village.
“I’m flabbergasted at the amount of attention this has received,” Baker said. “They’re just really pleased. They understand it’s something temporary and something to be enjoyed.”
Though many of the residents are happy about the parklet, many have turned to Facebook to decry it as tacky. One mother took her two kids there the morning the parklet appeared and had a blast, even giving photographic proof of said fun to The Reporter.
“This cost the taxpayers of Kenmore nothing, zero,” Baker said. “For them to up and do something like that and give us so much enjoyment early in the spring, it’s been overwhelming.”
While the cost to the city was nothing, maybe the more surprising aspect is that all of the toys, chairs and items within the parklet is all still there. Nothing has been stolen or taken.
“It feels good. We’ve worked long and hard to make things happen and [the parklet] is a precursor of things to come,” Baker said. “Most people really get it and really appreciate it.”
Other ideas from the For the Love of Kenmore are being planned, such as the Lake Washington ‘monster,’ a life-sized heron’s nest made from recycled materials, and rain-activated scavenger hunts around the Kenmore downtown.