Old Gas Station Gets a New Life as a City Park in Fargo

What do you do with an old gas station?

One group in Fargo is making use of the former Sahr’s Sudden Services and turning it into a green space.

Folkways have brought numerous community events to the area and they’re back at it again with a new city park called Sudden Park.

The group is transforming the abandoned gas station and giving it new life as a space for social gatherings.
“We just wanted the community to be very open about this space and get as much input because we don’t want to push something on them that they don’t feel comfortable with,” says Folkways member Catherine Rouillard.
“I think this is a great idea; it’s a great use of the space and I think it’s a clever way to bring the community together,” says Kayla Cote of Fargo.
And coming together as a community is what Folkways aims for.

Joe Burgum and his team got inspired by other cities in the nation revitalizing unused spaces into urban parks.
Burgum shares, “From there we said, ‘how can we activate this space in a meaningful way for the neighbors?'”
For the grand opening, the public was invited to a day of exploring the new ground.

But keep note that the project is temporary.
“Well I like to practice living in the moment. So I think it makes us enjoy each season the best. It’s always good to have something to look forward to. So we can savor the summer and be here for now and look forward to it next year,” says Randi Heinold of Fargo.
This park is to provide a sense of comfort in the Horace Mann area.

The people of Folkways spent months brainstorming on the design and what activities they wanted to bring to the community.
“It’s really exciting to belong. Especially being a college student, you come to a city that you’re not from. You don’t have family or people there. So being involved really makes you want to improve your surroundings,” says Rouillard.
Rouillard is an NDSU student studying landscape architecture.

This is her first tangible project where she helped designed the park.

Now she’s focusing on community involvement.
Rouillard explains, “A lot of people overlook that. They design pretty things without thinking who’s using them. Or if people would want to use it.”
It’s an ongoing project for Folkways and this is only the beginning phase.
“I think activating an unwanted, unused space is the best thing for any community,” says Rouillard.
The activities will be available only during business hours.

The park plans to stay open until the first snowfall.

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