Town Square Park

Grand Forks, ND

In 1997, Grand Forks, ND, and the surrounding area suffered severe flooding. City Center Mall was damaged and had to be torn down. The Grand Forks Office of Urban Development commissioned WSN and a consulting landscape architect to design a 30,400 sq.ft. park for the revitalized, post-flood downtown area. The entire community was invited to participate in the development of the space. Community focus groups met and helped shape the Park’s vision.

Through an “artwise” program, the children of the Grand Forks School District designed ceramic tiles for installation in the park, and each year children will design and contribute more tiles. Funded by a community block grant, the park’s central theme focuses on the Red River, evoking the area’s historic past as an important riverboat trade route. As home to a number of activities including performances, farmers’ markets, and a wintertime ice skating rink, the square plays an important role in the community.