A rendering of a Parkelt.

The Parklet Project in Bowling Green announced their first two locations today: South Main Street in front of Grounds for Thought and Juniper Brewing Company.

The Parklet Project team has launched a fundraising effort to build and install the parklets this summer; the group is also helping the businesses with designs for the spaces.

“This location is going to be perfect,” said Chris Mowen, architect at Thomas Porter Architects in Toledo and a member of the Parklet Project team. “Not only do we get to partner with two amazing, locally-owned businesses, but there are also already a lot of traffic calming measures in place and the large curb bump outs will provide a lot of natural protection.”

Legislation to permit parklets downtown was introduced April 5 to Bowling Green Council. Proposed program details permit the parklets to be in place downtown April through November.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be part of this project, which will hopefully attract more people to come downtown,” said Zach Tracy, owner of Juniper Brewing Company.

“This past year has been hard on everyone, including the downtown businesses, so we applaud fresh perspective and new ideas,” Tracy said. “It is good to see Bowling Green embrace some outside of the box thinking that reflects the desire to help make the downtown a destination spot for everyone.”

Parklets not only expand the space available to gather outside downtown during a summer when social distancing remains important – they have the potential to greatly increase outdoor dining options, according to a news release on Monday.

“Grounds For Thought is excited to be involved in this partnership to activate public space in our community,” said Kelly Wicks, owner of Grounds for Thought. “We look forward to continuing efforts to make downtown BG a better place to shop, work, live and play.”

Located in the parking lane adjacent to the curb, parklets are designed as an extension of the sidewalk. Mowen and Thomas Porter Architects created renderings of potential parklet designs for downtown.

Mowen said that when she learned of the Parklet Project her firm enthusiastically agreed to donate their services and create renderings of the proposed spaces.

“We are passionate about all forms of built environment and were eager to help BG create intentional, pedestrian-friendly, enriched areas of downtown,” she said.

Parklet Project members include Mowen, Ellen Fure Smith, Tony Vetter, Jeff Dennis and Rachel Phipps.

The group has partnered with the Downtown BG Foundation to accept donations. Anyone wanting to support the Parklet Project can do so by sending a contribution to “Downtown Foundation, Inc. – Parklets” c/o Jeff Dennis, PO Box 406, Bowling Green, Ohio 43402.