The Pop Up Park downtown—a community gathering space that advocates want to remain in place through the summer this year—needs volunteers to help in order to keep it going, according to its organizers.
The committee that oversees the Pop Up Park—setting it up, promoting the space, arranging for entertainment and weekend themes and breaking it down—intends on May 20 to apply to the Police Commission to keep the space in place from the end of school to Labor Day, said New Canaan’s Tucker Murphy, head of the committee.
Yet without volunteer stewards who could, for example, make sure it’s tidy or that, in the event of heavy rain amid high winds, see that umbrellas are safely stowed—it isn’t feasible for the volunteer committee that has run it to continue doing so with no help, Murphy said.
“If the Pop Up Park is going to happen this summer, we are going to need some help from the community,” she said.
Launched on a test basis in the summer of 2012 and evolving each year since into a more regular fixture downtown, the Pop Up Park at South and Elm—host to activities year-round including World Cup Weekend, family gatherings, outdoor concerts and showcases for local eateries—has garnered positive feedback from residents, businesses and town officials.
A poll on NewCanaanite.com in February showed that readers by a more than 3-to-1 majority want the Pop Up Park in place during the summer.
Several groups including the SLOBs, Boy Scouts and National Charity League have been generous with their time, as have other residents in assisting with setting up and breaking down, Murphy has said.
The Pop Up Park Committee has said keeping the park in place continuously through the summer could further boost its usability and visibility while creating an opportunity to upgrade to sturdier furniture. Committee members in January asked town officials for guidance on how best to take a next step toward a more frequent presence in New Canaan.
Anyone who is interested in volunteering to help operate the Pop Up Park this summer, such as through “adopting” the park for a weekend, or serving on the Pop Up Park Committee, can fill out this form: