Progress on Soucey Park

lighthouse students work on designs for Soucey Park

By // February 20, 2016

LightHouse is committed to improving our local community, and Soucey Park is high on our list.

As part of our program at LightHouse, students choose community projects to work on every Friday. The goal is for our students to learn to take positive action in improving their community and their world. The first project they chose back in September of 2015 was to work to renovate our nearby Soucey Park, which has fallen into disrepair. We have spent part of every Friday all year so far working on this project.

So far the students have:

  • Spoken to more than 150 people in the neighborhood and had them sign a petition
  • Cleaned up trash at the park twice
  • Delivered that petition to the mayor along with a presentation
  • Met several times with Parks and Rec
  • Worked with Joseph Krupczynski, UMass architecture professor and his students 2x/week for 8 weeks on a site analysis and to create a series of design proposals
  • Presented those designs at a public event
  • Met with DCR to discuss site analysis and potential plans for landscape improvement
  • Worked with Parks and Rec to submit a block grant proposal to renovate the park

This has been a fantastic learning opportunity for our students and we are grateful for the openness and support of Holyoke city government for their involvement.  Our students are learning that change and progress are slow, complicated, and absolutely possible. We are looking forward to supporting the project through fruition, and to heading up a stewardship group to see that the park is cared for after renovation.

Through this project we’ve also come to know Caryn Brause, another UMass Architecture professor. Caryn is collaborating with us this Spring on another design project to renovate spaces around the STEAM building. These are amazing opportunities for our students, and part of the many improvements happening in South Holyoke.

If you’d like to learn more or find a way to be involved in this project, please be in touch! [email protected] or 413-420-8299.

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