Park it in a parklet: Butte’s urban environment gains new feature

Posted at 10:31 AM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 12:31:22-04

BUTTE – Students are working hard to build a community area known as a parklet for Uptown, Butte. The concept is to enhance Butte’s urban environment.

“When you’re driving by and you see people on the street, you want to stop there and be part of that and that’s good for your economy,” said Cassie Wick of Butte Building Active Communities.

The Butte Building Active Communities Group obtained about $7,000 from a SARTA grant to build an enclosed deck area just off the sidewalk at Galena Street near Montana next to Headframe Spirits Distillery. The parklet will remain there for the rest of this summer.

“Our hope is that, if it’s successful, we can do these all over town and so us doing this as a pilot project is allowing us to set up this in the future who would think a parklet would work well outside of their business,” said Wick.

Four students from the Upward Bound Program are building it at Highlands College and it will include a deck with bench seating surrounded by low walls with planter boxes in them. It’s designed to be inviting.

“Really that’s kind of what you want is to create an atmosphere of this is a nice place to sit down and take a rest, you want to hang out more in the Uptown area and shop,” said parklet designer Maria Ralph.

Well, the kids here at the Upward Bound Program say they’re really excited to part of a project that they know is going to be used in Uptown, Butte.

“I actually feel pretty great about it knowing I will accomplish building something that other people are going to use,” said Upward Bound Student Bethani Maris, 17, of Butte.

This will be a test to see if it attracts the people and business to Uptown. The parklet is expected to be set up by next weekend and will remain there until the end of this summer. The city will keep it in storage until next year.