New parklet on Main Street in Esterhazy
July 14, 2020, 8:50 am
Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Summer is underway and the sun is shining down in Saskatchewan to take advantage of the warm weather, the Town of Esterhazy has set up a new parklet on Main Street.
The plan to put together a new public seating area was headed by the Esterhazy Economic Development Committee and approved by the Esterhazy Town Council and they welcome everybody to check it out. To go the extra mile and keep it local, the parklet was built using materials and services from six local businesses.
“We put the parklet up today (July 7),” said Planning and Economic Development Director Tammy MacDonald. “The Esterhazy Economic Development Committee (EDC), which is a subcommittee of the town council, is comprised of businesses owners within the community and that was one of the things that came from their vision. They wanted to beautify downtown and said, ‘why don’t we put a parklet in that can be used by all businesses?’
“If somebody is going to the drugstore to get a prescription filled they can sit on it, or if they’re getting a cup of coffee or an ice cream cone they can sit and relax. It’s just something to help beautify the downtown street and the EDC came up with this after doing some research. They found out these are located all across Canada and so we went, ‘why not here?’”
To ensure everybody can enjoy it, the parklet was set up in an easily accessible area on Main Street.
“It’s located right on (421) Main Street,” she said. “The building it’s located in front of right now is not a business, it’s one of our only ones that isn’t a store front. We thought if we put it in front of their parking spots it’s not going to affect the other businesses and it’s not showing favouritism to anybody. We wanted to find a neutral place for it so it can be enjoyed by everybody.”
The parklet was months in the making after the EDC put in time researching and developing a plan for it.
“The idea came together this past fall and it was passed by council,” she said.
“We did some research, got together some design plans, gathered some price quotes, and then we brought it to council and they said yes and we put it in this year’s budget and got it made.
“We used six different local businesses to create it,” she said. “The flower pots we actually ordered in from Winnipeg and they’re made from recycled materials.
The parklet was just set up, but MacDonald says, they’re already hearing positive feedback.
“We’ve gotten a lot of comments on Facebook about how it’s so urban,” she said. “It was really hard for us to design in our brains when we didn’t have one to look at. This was just us doing research on the internet trying to figure out how to create one and where to go with it. I’m excited about it.”
To make the parklet adjustable to any area, MacDonald says, they installed level adjusters.
“It’s on a frame,” she said. “Parkland Manufacturing put some twistable bolts to allow it to adjust to make it level on the ground. There’s eight of them that can raise it and lower it to become level with the sidewalk and the curb. In the area we have it there’s a bit of a slope so on one end the legs are higher and on the other they’re shorter. It’s kind of like a washing machine sort of concept.”
With the easy movability of the parklet, MacDonald says, it will be seasonal and they’re hoping to add a second one.
“Our plan is we’re hoping to move it around,” she said. “If this one goes well then we’ll probably build a second one as well. We’re not going to have it out during the winter so as not to interfere with public works snow removal with plows. We’re hoping it’s a summer time thing from May 1 to October 1.”