The City of Brandon and the Downtown Wellness and Safety Task Force is introducing a new outdoor pop-up park pilot project in the 800 block of Pacific Avenue. The project is focused on serving the vulnerable population in Downtown Brandon, featuring two portable washrooms (cleaned daily) and a couple of picnic tables. Beautification measures include large natural rocks to enhance the area to make it more welcoming.
“We are pleased to be able to bring this project together so quickly,” notes Shannon Saltarelli, City of Brandon Community Housing and Wellness Coordinator. “This project was brought forward as a recommendation from the Downtown Wellness and Safety Task Force to City Council earlier this year. We have consistently heard from the community that there is a need for more public washrooms downtown. Several city departments, the business community, and people with lived experience all contributed to the initial vision and implementation of this space.”
If the pop-up park is not misused or vandalized, and is well-received by the community, the project could be continued, and maybe even expanded to include more public washrooms, picnic tables, overhead shelter from the sun and rain, light fixtures and a green space.
The pilot park project will continue as weather permits. "We know we've got for sure a couple of months that we can do the pilot and see how it goes," adds Saltarelli. "I haven't made a firm decision yet on when we may pull the plug on the pilot and then start up again in spring. It's still so recent and so new that I haven't had time to make a decision yet on that."
Please listen to more of the interview with Shannon Saltarelli and CJRB's Barry Lamb: