Thursday, December 26, 2019

Romare Bearden Park

If they gave awards for Charlotte’s local parks, Romare Bearden Park would easily earn “Most Compelling.” This 5.4-acre city pocket park gets its name from the Charlotte-born artist. And its planners were intentional in their artistic design of all of the park’s features.

When our oldest was a toddler, we’d come watch the trucks move dirt around this fenced-in city block and I’d wonder what could possibly take so long to construct a park. But one stroll around today will offer an appreciation for both its artistry and dynamism.

To start, Romare Bearden Park is situated at the foot of our burgeoning skyline. The view of the towering buildings here is exciting and impressive. I dare you to resist taking at least one picture.

But the true vibrancy of the park lies in the details. Its footprint is divided into six distinct sections that all flow elegantly from one to the other.

From the east end of the park (which borders Church St.) to the West (which borders Mint St.), there’s the Paris Memory garden and seating area, the Formal Oval, Madeline’s Garden, Maudell’s Garden, the Childhood Muse Plaza, and the Big Moon Green. At the heart of the park is a stunning, multi-level waterfall fountain.

The space we’re drawn to first – and where we usually linger longest – is the Childhood Muse Plaza on the north end of the park (which borders West MLK Jr. Blvd.). It is situated in front of the fountain and offers spray towers, rocks for climbing and jumping, several musical features, and one of the best city-scape views in the park.

We also enjoy the large, open green spaces, tiptoeing through the meticulous gardens, and walking along the walls that tie the park together.

Romare Bearden Park is a perfect gathering space for large, public events (see a line-up of formal activities offered through the year), a family picnic or a solitary lunch-break stroll. One of our favorite things to do there is get pizza from a nearby restaurant and eat on a wall by the fountain.

If you’ve not been to Romare Bearden Park, treat yourself to a visit. If you have been, take another trip with an appreciative eye for its compelling layout and design. If not an official award, Romare Bearden is most certainly deserving of locals’—and visitors’ – admiration and intrigue.

Note: Bathroom facilities are available at the park.

How to get there:
Romare Bearden Park is located at 300 S. Church Street, Charlotte, NC 28202. You can find parking on the street or in a nearby lot. Or, consider taking the light-rail train into town. The nearest stop is just a few blocks away.

Don’t forget to take:

  • Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen: Shade is limited here.
  • Water and a snack or picnic lunch: Plan to spend some time exploring.
  • Swimsuit and towel (seasonal): Playing in the water fountains is allowed.
  • Camera: You will want at least a photo or two.

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