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You Can Grow It: Indoor pop-up park provides winter getaway

It's a place to enjoy a picnic lunch and take in all the sights and smells of springtime.

BOISE, Idaho — We’re almost halfway through winter, and even though it hasn’t been a bad winter at all so far, don’t you sometimes wish you could take of your shoes and wiggle your toes in some green grass and smell some beautiful flowers?

Well, it turns out you can do just that, at an indoor pop-up park, where you can sit on the grass, enjoy the flowers, and eat your picnic lunch while you bask in warm temperatures.  So just what is a pop-up park, and where can you find one?   

Well, you have to admit.  Winter hasn’t been too bad so far.  Yes, there have been some cold days and a little bit of snow, but it’s the lack of color outside that really gets to you.  So, Edwards Greenhouses once again has built their pop-up park.  Step inside, enjoy a picnic lunch and take in all the sights and smells of springtime.

Across the country and around the world, pop-up parks are gaining in popularity.  Temporary mini parks have popped up in parking lots and along busy downtown sidewalks, offering a little rest area with some grass, a few potted trees and flowers, and a bench to sit on. 

Here at Edwards, this pop-up park is in the greenhouse, so it’s warm and dry, no matter what the weather’s like outside.  It all began about six years ago, as a way to provide the community with a break from the cold, foggy inversions, something we haven’t dealt with so far this winter.

“Even though we’re having an unusually warm winter, we still have the dreary days and so it’s a way to get in and get excited for spring,” said Erin Monnie, Edwards Greenhouses.

And folks love the idea, like these families who were enjoying the park last year.

“It’s a great response.  People really look forward to it.” 

“We were kind of surprised by who it brought in.  We thought maybe it would be some people who were retired and maybe wanted to come in and read a book.  But what ended up happening is a lot of families came in, especially mothers, after they had taken their kids to school.”

“They have the toddlers that are stir crazy and just want to run around, and a lot of those parents come here and meet up with other friends, and picnic, and let their kids play and run around and get their yah-yahs out.”

There’s plenty of grass where you can spread out a blanket and sit down, or take a moment to lounge in a real lawn chair.  And on Saturdays there’s story times with the Boise Public Library, art displays from the Boise Art Museum, and live music featuring local performers and the Boise School of Rock.

“We keep doing it a little different every year and it’s something I always plan on doing.  As long as we have the room to provide for everybody, we’ll be doing it.”

The pop-up park at Edwards will last for the next week or two, so grab the kids and the family, and a picnic lunch, and come on down and enjoy.  There’s plenty of room to sit down, watch the kids play on the grass, and enjoy a nice picnic lunch, while it’s cold and drab outside.

And you might get a few ideas for your own pop-up park at home when spring finally gets here. 

The pop-up park is open to the public during regular business hours each day Monday through Saturday from Friday, January 24 through Sunday, February 2.  Edwards is usually closed on Sundays, but they’ll be open the next two Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for folks to enjoy the park.

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