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Temporary Minipark Opens in Downtown Akron as a Way to Attract More Foot Traffic

pocket park on North High Street in Akron
Mark Arehart
The pocket park is built on a platform that sits atop several parking spaces on North High Street in Akron.

A new temporary pop-up park in Akron is now open for visitors. It's part of an effort to get more people to the north side of Akron’s downtown. 

Funded by the Downtown Akron Partnership and the Knight Foundation, the pocket park is on North High Street, catty-corner to the Akron Art Museum.

It has custom-made benches, vibrant lighting and a view of a newly-designed mural by the University of Akron's Art Bomb Brigade.

The entire park fits into what are normally just a few parking spaces on the street.

"Before it was just kind of plain sidewalks. It wasn’t really well lit. And we’ve just kind of brought in some of those enhancements to kind of test it, see how it’s taken," said Sharon Gillberg, who is with the Downtown Akron Partnership.

The park is part of the "Space Lift" program to enhance downtown public spaces.

Gillberg said the minipark will only be around for the summer, but certain aspects like the lighting installations could become permanent.

The first "Space Lift" project debuted in May with a mural painted on the street near the Northside Marketplace.

A future project is planned for Lock 3. It's called Lock Next.

Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.