Southside “Pocket Park” proposed behind Battle Academy

Authored By James Harrison

Plans for a pocket park behind Battle Academy were revealed by members of the Southside Historic Neighborhood Association during a Hamilton County School Board session on Thursday night.

Craig Kronenberg, of Hefferlin and Kronenberg Architects, presented the plans for the park, which would be for student use during school hours and available to the general public at all other times. 

“The neighborhood has wanted a pocket park for years, and after looking at several sits, it dawned on us that Battle Academy has space that was suitable for a park.” Kronenberg said. “The idea is that it would become a shaded area for playing while school was in session, and then be a place for reflection, community gatherings, and throwing the frisbee at all other times.”

The piece of land, located between East 17th Street and the school, would be re-modified to include a level ground space, and trees would be planted to provide shade. The area would also potentially include spaces for chess games and a volleyball court.

Kronenberg said that TakeRoot had offered to donate some of the trees and that organizers were also seeking funding from the Lyndhurst Foundation. Commissioner Warren Mackey, city Councilman Andrae McGary, and school board member George Ricks, who represents Battle Academy, were also said to be on board. 

“Everyone seems to be buying into the idea that this project doesn’t really have any negatives, and that it only has positives.” Kronenberg said. “It may take awhile to make this thing happen, but I think it will work out just fine. It just depends on how much we can get a groundswell of interest in the idea.”

To help cover the estimated cost of $60,000, Kronenberg said that organizers were planning several fundraisers. With the combination of donated labor and trees from TakeRoot, Kronenberg estimated the actual costs of the park would be closer to $30,000.