By Nicole Minier
CHURUBUSCO — Continuing the work its already started in downtown Churubusco, the Main Street Association is looking to fund an alley activation project — a “pocket park” in the 100 block of North Main Street.
The Churubusco Main Street Association applied for a $10,000 grant from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and also garnered $20,000 in support from the town and donations from others.
The alley isn’t being used, and hasn’t been repaved in many years.
“It’s very narrow and drivers can’t see when trying to go in or out of it,” said Churubusco Clerk-Treasurer Madalyn Sade-Bartl. “We have a great mural in that alley we would like to showcase.”
In a survey conducted by the town, many residents indicated they wanted to see continued revitalization downtown and growth in the town’s parks. The “pocket park,” which will be called Franklin Promenade, will give the town both.
“It’s an extension of what we’ve already done with that block,” Sade-Bartl said.
The park is also a preview to what’s to come — a new town library. Although still at least two years out from potentially having the funding for the library, community leaders are looking ahead to what the alley can be — a promenade between downtown and the new library.
“Franklin” is a historic name for the town. Before being named “Churubusco” the town was comprised of the growing communities of Franklin and Union. Franklin was on the north side of the town. In the future, a park named “Union” could arise on the south side of Churubusco, Sade-Bartl said.
The Town Council allocated $20,000 toward the project, and there are several donations, including a park bench and bike rack.
Though the Main Street association is applying for the grant, the project will be completed and maintained by the town. Town employees spend about 40 hours per month maintaining the current Main Street landscaping, and expect the new park to only add about 20 hours per month, depending on the type of landscaping selected.
Community leaders look forward to the potential the new park brings — a place to host fundraisers and even wine tastings.
“It’s very intimate and close-knit,” Sade-Bartl said. “It will be great to get green space downtown.”