Photos By Kate Albright for Montclair Local

Local nonprofit, Bike & Walk Montclair held its ribbon cutting ceremony for the new community space dubbed, “Porch on Walnut” on Saturday, Sept. 15. Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson officiated.

The new, seasonal public space, also called a, “parklet,” was constructed last weekend in front of Walnut Street restaurants Corso 98 and Red Eye Cafe with the help of a host of volunteers and local businesses. Two parking spaces have been transformed into a beautiful neighborhood gathering spot, complete with seating, planters, pergola and bike rack. A project of the non-profit advocacy group, Bike & Walk Montclair, the wooden structure is designed to encourage community building and interaction.

“The ‘Porch on Walnut’ is a great example of what we call place-making. The whole project was designed to bring people together, first in the collaborative process of imagining and building the space, in the design which encourages people to stop and connect with other members of the community and finally in the ways we will use it, as a focus for neighborhood interaction,” said John Sullivan, Vice President of Bike & Walk Montclair, and lead organizer of the Porch on Walnut Street.

Parklets first appeared in Montclair two years ago on Glen Ridge Avenue in a pilot program funded by the Montclair Center BID and Bike & Walk Montclair. Last May, the Montclair Town Council unanimously passed a resolution to permit the construction of two seasonal parklets, one downtown sponsored by the BID and one sponsored by Bike & Walk Montclair on Walnut Street.

The Porch on Walnut Street will host a variety of art and music events throughout