The way Pogo Park brings once-abandoned city parks to life – by hiring, training, and empowering community residents to make the changes themselves – is an engine of community development. 

We have been successful in a neighborhood where literally every other attempt at revitalization has failed. Why? Because we build from the inside-out. We hire and train community residents to envision how parks in their neighborhood can improve – and then empower the community to use their own hands to make the changes themselves. In this way, the development of a park is a vehicle for the development of the entire community.

Pogo Park has directed $2 million in contracts, grants, and donations down into the neighborhood to hire local people and contract with local businesses. Our work hinges on both the ability to work deeply within the community to set up the “bones” of the system, and by the “process” of engaging the community to come together to do the work.

Pogo Park’s work is pioneering new thinking for how to reimagine and rebuild urban public spaces in ways that more deeply and authentically engage local residents.