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Community Power: Designing Imani commons Park for All Ages and Interests

Kingswood Community Center hosts first Town Green event to begin planning for Imani Commons Park in Imani Village.

On Tuesday, February 6, 2024, the Kingswood Community Center hosted a dynamic 90-minute event aimed at gathering community input for the future development of the Imani Commons park. The evening started with informative presentations from the REACH, Pennrose, and WRT teams, providing updates on the greater Imani Village project and outlining key aspects of the Kingswood Community Center’s EMPOWER program. Attendees were also briefed on the 2019 Riverside Master Plan and the 2022 NE Wilmington Community Plan. Then, WRT offered insights into the park’s site analysis and discussed program goals centered around wellness, culture, and nature. After the presentations, the event transitioned into a hands-on program planning and mapping exercise, where participants collaborated in small groups to envision and document their ideal future park plans.

As the evening sun dipped below the horizon, voices rose in animated discussion at the Kingswood Community Center. Gathered around tables adorned with blank canvas maps of the future Imani Commons park, community members shared their hopes and dreams for the vibrant green space that would soon grace their neighborhood.

Amidst the chatter, four key themes emerged, echoing the collective desires of the diverse assembly. Play areas were not just seen as recreational spots; they were deemed essential for fostering childhood development, with safety being paramount. Multi-generational access was a priority, with a vision of a park that could cater to the needs of young and old alike. Safe crossings for pedestrians and bikers were not just a convenience but a necessity for ensuring the park’s accessibility to all. And amidst the longing for community connection, there arose a desire for diverse event spaces—from tranquil picnic areas to bustling plazas—each corner envisioned as a hub of social interaction and shared memories.

The feedback session painted a vivid picture of the community’s vision, with each voice adding a stroke to the canvas of possibility. Discussions ranged from the practical—accessibility and circulation—to the aspirational—dreams of playgrounds and fitness areas. Yet, amidst the varied perspectives, a common thread emerged: a shared commitment to creating a park that would serve as a beacon of unity and wellness for generations to come.

Delving deeper into the heart of the discussions, participants voiced their concerns and aspirations with a fervor that echoed through the room. Safety was more than just a checkbox on a list; it was a collective responsibility to ensure that every corner of the park felt secure and inviting. Play spaces weren’t merely collections of equipment; they were gateways to imagination and exploration, each element carefully chosen to spark joy and wonder. And as the conversation turned to community events and gatherings, there was a palpable sense of excitement—a shared anticipation of the memories waiting to be made within the park’s welcoming embrace.

In the tapestry of feedback, each thread told a story—a story of resilience, community, and hope. From the smallest detail to the grandest vision, every voice mattered, weaving together a narrative of unity and possibility.

Community involvement remains pivotal in shaping the final design of Imani Commons. We invite all community members to participate in the upcoming engagement event, where they can explore and provide feedback on the proposed conceptual designs. Your input will play a crucial role in refining the designs and ensuring that the future park truly reflects the needs and aspirations of the Imani Village community.

Building upon the gathered input, conceptual design options for Imani Commons have been developed and will be presented to the community for further feedback and discussion. These conceptual designs aim to incorporate the community’s vision while ensuring the park’s functionality and inclusivity. Attendees will have the opportunity to review and provide input on multiple design options at the upcoming engagement event.

Together, let’s create a vibrant and inclusive space that enriches the lives of all community members. Join us as we take the next steps towards bringing the vision of Imani Commons to life!