Elm and Hampshire Plaza, Cambridge
Elm and Hampshire Plaza is the fancy name for the pocket park located at the end of our street in Cambridge. My family has lived on Elm Street since 2001. We think of this as our park, as it is so close to home. It's literally 30 seconds from our door.
Elm and Hampshire Plaza – Elm Street Park to us – has really improved over the years. When we first arrived it was rather run down and not used very often. I remember an open barrel and casual drinkers gathering after dusk.
Slowly, over time, the park gradually improved. To hide an unsightly meter box, I myself had someone make a trellis frame to mask it. I also noticed a meandering cut-through path deserving some proper TLC. I managed to get the city of Cambridge to edge the path and put stones down. That internal pathway still exists today.
In 2015, the Cambridge Community Development Department completed a comprehensive renovation of Elm and Hampshire Plaza. The renovated plaza is more inviting and interesting, with whimsical and playful elements. And it features improved seating areas, a small climbing and spinning structure, a dance chimes feature, lighting, better plantings and landscaping.
During the winter of 2015, one enterprising child built an igloo here! That was the year we had so much snow.
I drive by the park every day as I come and go from home. I walk through the park nearly as often, as I make my way out the door on foot. Our little pocket park is like a dear old friend. We cannot imagine living without it nearby. My wife and daughter like to replenish the lending library found here. Myself, I like to keep the park tidy, frequently picking up any trash I find and depositing it the bin found here.
City living is many things. We feel fortunate that for us it includes this lovely pocket park so close to home. It's never looked better. We treasure it.