The Gaines Group

Harrisonburg Parklet Project

PARK(s) are coming to downtown Harrisonburg. While a permanent park is being debated, funding is being investigated, and noise is being negotiated – artists, citizens, businesses, and schools are bringing parks downtown. The Harrisonburg Parklet Project is a chance for those wanting to express creativity, love for pocket parks, and love for art to build a temporary public park for other people to enjoy. In conjunction with First Fridays, the Harrisonburg Parklet Project will show us what our city could look like if more public spaces were allocated for urban green space, gathering areas, and activity centers. This event taking place on October 5-6, 2012 all around downtown Harrisonburg will highlight the importance of design for a community to grow and thrive. These slivers of green space are meant to encourage unscripted social interaction, design, civic engagement, critical thinking, generosity, and place.

Your park could express a desire for more bike friendly design:

Your space might talk about the need for fewer cars and more parks

Your space might be an indication of a need for more gathering spaces in downtown.

This is your chance to shape the conversation in downtown – what do you want everyone talking about?

Register here for a space, scholarships are available:

When: October 5, 5-8pm & October 6, 8am-12pm
Where: all around downtown Harrisonburg
Cost to attend: Free
Cost to design: $60
Who: Everyone! Artists, designers, architects, children, citizens

So what does a “parklet” look like? It’s up to you! Some people have created park-like areas with amenities like grass, shade, seating, bike racks, planters, and public art. Look for inspiration everywhere! Just keep in mind that your space will be left unattended at night, so don’t leave valuables and take inclement weather into consideration when choosing materials.

Who can participate? Anyone! But hurry – there are only 20 parklet spaces available.

Where does the registration money go? All proceeds for this event will go to the Harrisonburg Northend Greenway, a community project that will create 2.5 miles of green park space through downtown Harrisonburg and beyond.

What if I can’t afford to pay the registration fee? A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. If interested, please provide a paragraph as to why you or your organization should be a recipient. Send this to or mail to Northend Greenway, PO Box 1231, Harrisonburg, VA 22803 along with your Registration Form.


– Parklets must be ready by or before 4:30pm on Friday, October 5.
– All materials are to be provided by parklet designers, and inclement weather should be taken into consideration (event is rain or shine).
– Event organizers are not responsible for theft or vandalism.
– Event concludes at 12 noon on Saturday, October 6. Parklets must be cleared and parking spaces cleaned no later than 3pm on Saturday.
– Not required but preferred that designers be with their parklet from 5-8pm during the First Fridays Art Walk.
– No sales or solicitation.

For complete information, read the Parklet Project FAQs.

Brought to you by:

The Gaines Group, PLC
Arts Council of the Valley
Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance
Northend Greenway

For more info:
Suzi Carter
Parklet Project co-coordinator


Friendly City Food Co-op

The Friendly City Food Co-op is about to open and the town is buzzing (here, here, here, and even here). With a grand opening scheduled for July 9th and the soft opening starting June 6th, the consumer owned, democratically run food store in Harrisonburg is here after 5 years of hard work. The store which features fresh and frozen foods, natural health items, and safe cleaning products also will be a primary destination for locally grown fresh food along with the Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market. As a member of the National Cooperative Grocers Association, which helps unify food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources and strengthen purchasing power, this downtown gem is another step to the revitalization of Harrisonburg’s Downtown. I am looking forward to many trips to the Co-op as a member owner and I am especially excited about the further growth of downtown!

Possibly the best burger ever

I love my new office space, but it has one major problem. I am now up-wind from Jack Brown’s Burger Joint. This Harrisonburg restaurant has possibly the best burger I have ever had. This is a bold statement, I realize, as I make a pretty good burger myself and I have eaten many very good burgers. They have a limited menu for food (burger, cheesburger, french fries, or fried oreos) with a huge selection of beers to drink. While I don’t have any interest in the beer selection, the fried oreos are a nice way to end a meal there. If you happen to be in town on a Wednesday, ask for “the elvis”, it is one of the best! Be sure to get there early as they have limited seating, but with this nice weather, their outdoor seating will be a nice addition to their space. If you are joining the Blacks Run Cleanup or one of the many other events in downtown, stop by the best burger joint in town and enjoy!