Photo Story: Riverdale Park Field Of Dreams Community Visioning Workshop

NDC was invited by the Town of Riverdale Park to facilitate a visioning session for an unused grassy space, popularly known as the “Field of Dreams.” Once a ballfield and play area, the park edge has been impacted by a new traffic circle and a recent mixed use development built on the nearby Whole Foods site. The town is hoping to activate the space while remaining sensitive to neighbors’ needs for a simple, quiet place.

20 community members participated in the morning activities, led by NDC’ers Rachel McNamara and Marita Roos. Nearly everyone lived within walking distance of the park. The morning’s icebreaker, “Postcards from the Future,” gave people a chance to freely dream their vision for the future park in a message to a loved one – often enhanced with a colorful and highly personal design. The rest of the morning was spend choosing from a set of images to identify the park character and a set of priorities for the landscape. Nature, trees, and pollinator plants were on virtually everyone’s list. Play spaces for children and quiet areas for adults to relax were also favorites. Importantly, many people noted that they did not want lined sports fields with active sports. Informal, beautiful and accessible space seemed to be on most people’s wish list.

During December, NDC will work on a landscape design concept incorporating the consensus from the workshop and an online survey. The concept design will be presented to Town Council in January. The town expects to implement the plan in phases over the next 3-10 years, depending on cost.