The landscape architect charged with taking community input and crafting it into four themes and designs for the Peace Park has unveiled four designs and themes for the park.
Members of the Charlestown Coalition and the Turn It Around group unveiled the four designs this week, and asked for more input on them from the community.
Ginaya Greene-Murray, of the Coalition, said the landscape architect has been gathering input online since June, and now they are waiting for the community to sound off on the four designs before any decisions are made.
“We are looking for people to review these designs and themes and let us know what they want,” she said. “I had suggested an interactive memorial wall. We wanted to make sure there was an accessible, interactive way to allow members of the community to leave remembrances as they did with the rocks. We definitely want a Peace Park that allows people to contribute with their memorials. I think we’re done with the rock idea because we don’t want anything that can be removed, but we do want something.”
Cristian Ruiz Santana said they spent two years cleaning up the Park and making the initial improvements, and he’s excited to see something professional and meaningful on the spot where he and others worked so hard.
“I feel like coming here by yourself is important,” he said. “People need time to be alone and get their mood changed – looking at something in the sky or listening to the birds. The sounds around you can calm you down. For example, people like to use those sound machines with river sounds or waterfalls. This is a natural one. It calms me down.”
The first option is called Solitude and Solace and features larger spaces that feed into smaller spaces for personal reflection. A space abutting the road features a pergola structure with a water feature nearby and a noise-reducing panel.
The second option is Terraced and Spiraled, and the central feature is a spiral of river rocks surrounded by trees. There is also a rock ramble for children to climb and play on, as well as a green screen for vines and greenery to grow on to buffer the park for neighbors and from the highway.
Option three is called Contemplate and Congregate, and it’s main feature is a stone wall with a waterfall coming down to cool the area and shield the Park from the highway noise. There are meditative seating areas where people can be alone, and there are umbrellas in the center to protect from the sun and congregate.
The fourth option is Embrace and Remember and it features many trees and a jagged line cutting through the center to invoke the history of Charlestown – but also to symbolize the journey taken through remembrance and grief. There is more seating and central, raised tree beds.
All of designs are up for a vote from the public, as well as comments to combine or improve the existing designs. Everything is on the table. To participate in vote go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/PPdesignpoll.