Alleyways present an interesting dilemma in Foster-Powell. On one hand, they’re usable, public spaces. On the other, they’re feral plots of land overtaken by weeds and blackberry bushes. While they offer access to your backyard, they also offer access to your backyard (if you know what I mean…and unfortunately many of you do). They provide parking alternatives for those with rear garages, and they present more gardening options, too. But they also attract discarded couches, broken tvs, and whoever that girl was screaming in a meth-fueled rage last night. Yeah, you know the one.
Still, there’s more potential there than is currently being utilized.
A while back, a group of PSU students and city planners-to-be tackled this dilemma and created a how-to guide for those wanting to take over their alleyways. And while dirt-bike escapades still give the alleys their most use, they also provide dog-walking routes, scenic romps through semi-vegetative urban decay and, now, an opportunity to get creative.
This makeshift garden improvises with old gutters framed behind an outbuilding bordering the alleyway.
The chalkboard offers a canvas for neighbors to draw on, an alternative to would-be taggers, and some art to the oft-neglected alleyway.
A rain barrel completes the alleyway garden and makes it that much more sustainable. Plus a bench for sitting, potted plants for more flare, and a raised bed.
And just like that…voila!
Has anybody else transformed their alley space? If so, how/what did you do? If not, who’s interested? The PSU group who surveyed the neighborhood put together a planning guide and toolkit for interested residents. Check it out.