System of Microparks in Jackson, MS
Micro or pocket parks have been developed for the purpose of introducing nature into densely populated urban structures, in large cities such as NYC, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where small spaces are converted into green oases to escape busy city life. Jackson does not have the same densely populated urban structure, but shares the need for microparks that can address a multitude of high priority needs in historically disinvested neighborhoods. The system of micro parks that we are developing in Jackson transforms abandoned and dilapidated properties into nature based solutions to flooding. We believe that the system of micro-parks will provide both ecological and socioeconomic synergies in Jackson. We expect its cumulative effect to be transformative for the entire neighborhood, resulting in strengthened climate resilience capacity through storm water retention and flood control enhancement as well as mitigating extreme heat exposures. Additionally, the micro parks will provide a spectrum of ecosystem services, cleaning runoff water, increasing air quality, and promoting biodiversity to name a few. Moreover, the microparks system can also boost local food production (community gardens), pollination gardens, and recreational options. We also expect multiple socio-economic co-benefits. The transformation of abandoned lots into aesthetically pleasing spaces is expected to reduce crime rates, increase property values for homeowners in the community, while promoting local economic development, support community pride, and enhance well-being of its residents.
Funding for this project is provided by a generous support from the Conrad A. Hilton Foundation.