A vacant lot no more? Ecology North asks Yellowknifers to send in their ideas for a pop-up park

Ecology North and the City of Yellowknife are going to build a pop-up park in downtown Yellowknife, bringing greenery and building a social environment to the urban core

Local environmental group opens call for park ideas in derelict downtown lot

Craig Scott explains the community competition at the empty lot, sharing what he envisions when it becomes a pop-up park. (Kaila Jefferd-Moore/CBC)

The deserted lot next to the Raven Nightclub in downtown Yellowknife is littered with broken glass and cigarette butts.

But Craig Scott from Ecology North wants to change that. He sees a pop-up park filling up the space. Half of the lot will have a green, clover, lawn with trees and berry bushes surrounding a flat deck made out of used pallets for people to use.

"These three lots are owned by the city and they could use a bit of sprucing up," Scott said. "We just got tired of looking at it as a derelict space."

The empty lot is in downtown Yellowknife, right between the Raven Nightclub and the Gold Range Bistro on 50th street is littered with broken glass and cigarette butts. (Kaila Jefferd-Moore/CBC)

The other half of the empty lot will have five different installations that people want installed in a downtown park. To find the best five ideas for the spaces, Ecology North is hosting a community competition in partnership with the City of Yellowknife.

"Those areas are going to be the most exciting part," Scott said. "We're really looking forward to some neat, fun outside the box thinking that will make the space more innovative and bring different community groups and different organizations down to this area."

A pop-up park is a temporary installation. They can be deconstructed for the winter or for winter-use. The City of Yellowknife still owns the three plots and they're still for sale. The park can be taken down if the land sells.

The main idea is to bring greenery to the urban environment and improve the social atmosphere of the downtown, Scott said. 

"It's not really an area that ... people tend to come and frequent," he said. "They walk through — try to get by as quickly as possible — they don't stop and hangout. We want people to stop and hangout."  

Yellowknifers can submit their ideas until July 3. Ten finalists will be announced on July 6, and Yellowknifers will be able to vote for their favourite five concepts. Ecology North is planning to have their grand opening in July.