Media Borough is now receiving construction bids to build a downtown sidewalk park in the heart of the State Street commercial district. The west sidewalk of South Avenue, below Veterans Square and between State and Baker Streets, is unusually wide—nearly 15 feet. This wide sidewalk will be the site of Veterans Square Garden. The project will reduce the sidewalk and convert the remaining area into a linear green park, with native trees, shrubs and plantings interspersed with pleasant seating areas.
A pleasant oasis such as Veterans Square Garden can be an important gathering place for the community. With this in mind, before hiring a landscape architect, the Borough invited a group of 15 local gardeners, landscape experts, green space advocates and borough officials to meet four times to brainstorm about and shape this project. Their ideas and input provided the landscape architect with the groundwork for designing the park and put a local stamp on the resulting plan.
The project will remove 2,277 square feet of concrete sidewalk, replacing it with an eight-foot-wide strip of native trees, shrubs and plantings running along the side of the adjacent Verizon building. The paved sidewalk will be reduced to 5 feet with a 1.8-foot border of block pavers. Interspersed among the plantings will be sitting areas with facing benches. At the north end of the block, we will install a hardwood deck bordered by long, deep planters with billowy native grasses—a site for café tables and chairs. An eight-foot long railing with a one-foot ledge and bar stool-style seating will edge the outer side of the deck. Bollard lights and wall lights will make the park safe and enjoyable for night-time use. Charging outlets will be available next to the deck café tables. A bike rack at the south end of the plantings will offer a stopping point off the nearby Media-Smedley Bike Trail, encouraging bicycling to the park and into downtown Media.
Fifteen foot bump-outs with trees and plantings at the north and south ends of the block will extend the shade and green to the street, cooling the site further on hot days and adding to the natural aesthetics of the area. The bump-outs will be designed to capture stormwater runoff from State Street, and the north end bump-out will include a bioretention system. The bump-outs and planting areas will have the capacity to store 2,000 gallons of runoff during a storm event and will be designed to drain in 24 hours or less.
Veterans Square Garden will provide Media residents with a welcoming green public space to meet friends, sit and have a conversation, eat lunch or just relax in a bit of nature.
See the Veterans Square Garden Plan