Thomas Frey:  Great cities throughout history were known far and wide for the grand
parks that served as their centerpieces.  But what do we think about
today when we conjure up the image of a park?

Fresh cut green grass, trimmed trees, playground for the kids, and perhaps a stream of water running through part of it. 

Parks have somehow deteriorated into rubber stamped open space,
boiled down to the bare essentials of grass, trees, sidewalks,
playgrounds, and benches – nothing memorable, with little to inspire
the mind.  While there are a few exceptions to the tedium of today’s
park culture, like the famed sculpture parks in Loveland, they remain
isolated examples of what most would aspire to become.
For this reason, I would like to propose a new approach – the idea
of participatory parks where the community decides on a particular
theme and becomes integrally involved in creating the distinctive
features.  Participatory parks will range from active to passive on
various community involvement scales, but in each case, the host city
will set into motion a long range plan for people to rally around.
Perhaps the best way to explain how participatory parks work is to
talk though some of the possible themes and allow you to let your
imagination fill in the gaps.
1.)     POETRY – “POETRY PARK” – A Tribute to the talented thinkers that have gone before us. 

Poetry Park will be a trail of thought.  Landscaped in
an ornate forest setting, large stones and boulders will protrude along
the cobblestone trails.  Each boulder will be inscribed with
quotations, song lyrics, poems, and words of inspiration.
As the participatory component, individuals, companies, and
service organizations will sponsor the carving of the inscriptions,
with the sponsoring entity inscribed at the bottom.  Ideally the park
will have surface areas on the rocks for several thousand inscriptions,
capturing the ideas and inspiring words of many generations to come.
Visitors to the park will be able to take leisurely strolls
through the knotty pines, flower beds, and maple trees, reading the
various gems of wisdom as they go.  Much like the hallowed halls of a
library, Poetry Park will be steeped in silence, allowing only nature
to breathe her lovely words.
2.) WATER SCULPTURES – “RIPPLES OF THE MIND” – A Tribute to the creative spirit that flows through each of us. 

sound of rushing water and trickling brooks will provide a calm retreat
from the overly stressful world now occupying our lives.  Fashioned
around unique walkways and florascaping, the participatory attractions
of the “Ripples” park will be the water sculptures, bubbling with
pride, spraying for our attention.

Crafted with a combination of fountains, water jets, bubblers,
ponds, and trickling brooks, each water sculpture will stand alone as a
fine work of art.  Businesses, organizations, and individuals will
sponsor these attractions, but the artwork itself will be created with
the professional elegance endowed only to members of this unique
artisan community.
3.) MUSIC – “HARMONY COVE” – A Tribute to the talented musicians among us. 
Music and nature have some very important things in common. 
The natural rhythms, the stirring of emotions, the sensory stimulation,
and the overall beauty of a fine composition make the combination of
the two an awe-inspiring experience.
With musicians looking for their next stage to perform on, and a
community looking to be entertained, Harmony Cove would provide a
series of sound isolated stages in a setting of beautiful green grass
surrounded by beds upon beds of wonderful flowers.  Local businesses
and individuals will sponsor each of the artistically inspired
amphitheaters and stages.
4.) WIND SCULPTURES – “WINDWALKER PARK” – A tribute to the breeze of inspiration that flows through all of us. 

gentle breeze will bring this park to life with moving forms and
sculptured motion.  Wind sculptures are a relatively new artform;
designed around an artist’s ability to mesh mechanical movement with
the power of the wind in a grace and beauty that captures the mind.

Each visit to this park will seem different.  Artworks will
exhibit the breathing nature of these artistic lifeforms.  Carefully
positioned among trees that serve as Mother Nature’s own wind
sculptures, individual displays will be folded into the florascape in
ways to help the inspirations breath.  The winding pathway network will
lead guests through landscape features that mimic the transient breezes
of the mind and enchant the soul.

More here.