This summer, join the fun and see what the power of community can do!

With the joint efforts and coordination of the Renton Downtown Partnership, and the City of Renton, a temporary “Pop-up” park will be installed in the Downtown Renton neighborhood by a University of Washington student group called “Small Steps“. This project is a volunteer-run and driven pilot project to see how neighbors and community members can work together to create beauty in the pockets of un-used space that await development in urban areas.

What is a pop-up?

A “pop-up park” is a temporary reclamation of vehicular space that gets transformed into pedestrian space for public use. This is usually done in the form of cafe seating and parklets. You may have seen a parklet in the downtown during the annual Park(ing) day celebration. Pop-ups can also be temporary restaurants, shops, or any other event that will be removed after its intended duration.

Why here?

The former Big 5 Lot is in the heart of Renton’s Downtown neighborhood. It is located next to Piazza park and hosts food trucks for the farmers market one day a week during the summer. When not in use, this land is empty and dormant. The Small Steps volunteer group is using goals from the Civic Core Vision and Action Plan to activate this space and encourage public safety through design and positive programming opportunities. By introducing this pop-up park to the lot, we are shifting the downtown to include more businesses to the west of the main retail core, while also providing additional space for events and activities during Piazza Park’s busiest season: Summer with the Farmers Market!

The site: 508 S 3rd St. Renton, WA 98057

Want to become a volunteer? Email [email protected] or visit the neighborhood volunteer page here: 

The schedule:

This schedule is noting the planned days for constructing, decorating, implementing, and maintaining the pop-up park. There are two types of work days highlighted:

Purple days

are intended on consisting of labor and construction. These days will take place off-site for construction and on-site for implementation days. We will not be on-site at the gravel lot for a few of these days. Please contact Brittany at [email protected] or (808)221-1009 for more information if you would like to join the work force! The location of these dates will vary! Please contact ahead to confirm.

Green days

are intended on consisting of light work, such as gardening, decorative painting, and site maintenance.

We are currently looking for volunteers to join our watering schedule to help keep the plants healthy until the end of summer!

Week 1:

July 6, 2019 10:00 am @ 508 S 3rd St. We spent the day spreading finer gravel on site to help create an easier pathway along the edges of the gravel lot. The storm trooper cleanup did a great job downtown and we are so happy they stopped by the site!


Week 2:

July 13 & 14 2019 @ Location To Be Decided. We spent the day cutting wood for the raised bed planter boxes that are in the site!

Week 3:

July 16 & 20 @ Piazza Park Thanks for helping us with painting and decorating the pop up park! We were set up in Piazza Park on the West end of the Farmers Market on Tuesday, and in the Park on Saturday during Summerfest! These finished panels look great!

Week 4:

July 21st @ 508 S 3rd St. This is a day where we did basic carpentry to prepare materials for our planter beds.

July 25 & [email protected] 508 S 3rd St. We filled the planters with gardening soil and re-planted sprouts that have been grown by community members. Thanks for joining at this educational gardening experience!


Week 5:

July 30, August [email protected] 508 S 3rd St. We finished up 2 installations on site! Special thank you to the Renton Regional Fire Authority for your wood working skills and efficient assembly!

Week 6:  

August 4th @ remote location. This week, we worked on preparing for another round of installations. The kiosk structures came together and we used the artwork from week 3! We also said goodbye to Jasmine, one of the founding members of Small Steps. Good luck with your new job in Illinois, Jasmine!


Week 7:  

August 11 & 16 @ 508 S 3rd St. This week, we prepared the boardwalk and the wood for the event on Friday. The boardwalk installation went in modules for ease of completion! The event on Friday was a blast, thank you to the volunteers from the City of Renton who helped complete the large bench!


Week 8:  

August 18 & 20th @ 508 S 3rd St. This week was the week of our grand opening! We moved the planters alongside the boardwalk and they were really heavy. We also installed the kiosks that were completed in week 6.


The grand opening was a blast! Thank you to everyone who showed up to help us celebrate!