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About Pocketparks

Pocketparks is a non-profit organization that reimagines and redevelops unused plots of land to provide communities with active and beautiful recreational areas. Through community engagement, each park is designed to meet the specific needs of the neighborhood in which it is located. Every park incorporates three things: activity, artwork, and opportunity. Pocketparks are small, but make a big impact. By focusing on small outdoor parks, we can quickly provide positive impact without extensive resources. Pocketparks not only offers beautiful recreational areas, but works to increase safety, boost community pride, and contribute to economic development. Pocketparks is a platform that reactivates outdoor areas to build up the ecosystem of communities and weave vibrant spaces into our urban fabric.


Established in St. Louis in 2021, Pocketparks is working to activate local communities and plans to grow into a network of parks that sprawl across the city and eventually expand to other cities and states. As a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization, Pocketparks relies on donations to support its efforts.

Our Mailing Address is:


PO Box 2071

St. Louis MO 63158


Click the button below to view our Media Features and Press Releases.


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& Reports

Click the button below to view our Annual Report and other Resources. 


“To me, this isn’t as much of a parks project as it is about activating the streets for a more vibrant, dense, urban fabric. Using a human-centric approach, we can elevate the urban experience to one that is safe, beautiful, active, and diverse. We are creating a platform using parks to reactivate the streets and build up the ecosystem of our city.”


- Samantha Lee Smugala, President & Founder 

Our Process

Our process starts with identifying opportunities and engaging the community.  All projects are community driven to assure we are creating positive change. We translate feedback into a relevant park design. After construction, we launch the new pocket park as a fully activated space, and continue to maintain the park for the foreseeable future.

Find Opportunities



Design & Construction

Launch & Activation

Continued Maintenance

Our Process

Our Sponsors

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The Board


Samantha  Lee Smugala

President & Founder

Samantha has a diverse background in marketing, design, and strategy. Her career has led her to work for both small and large firms, with projects ranging from logo design to go-to-market strategies. Samantha has worked across industries in education, healthcare, hospitality, entertainment, and manufacturing. 
Samantha’s mission with Pocketparks is to activate and beautify city streets by reimagining and redeveloping underutilized plots into beautiful recreational areas for the community.

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Sarah Arnoksy Ko

Vice President

Sarah Arnosky Ko is a vice president at Greater St. Louis, Inc., an economic development organization committed to driving economic growth and creating opportunities for all in the St. Louis region. In her role, Sarah leads implementation of key initiatives that promote, activate and enhance the built environment. In her spare time, Sarah can be found playing roller derby, working on house projects, and trying new St. Louis restaurants. 


Katie Holtgrave


Katie is Manager at ComStock Advisors. Her focus is business valuations, data analysis, and financial modeling. As an involved community member, Katie also serves on the Friends Board of Operation Food Search. Katie's personal interests have led her to be an active community member and small business owner. While committed to bettering St. Louis, Katie also enjoys international travel and exploring new countries, cities, and cultures.

The Board
Advisory Board

The Advisory Board

Maxine Clark

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Advisory Board Member

Maxine Clark is the Founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop®, a teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience. In 2013, Maxine stepped down from her CEB (Chief Executive Bear) position to start her next act-- to help unleash the potential of women and minority entrepreneurs and to use her entrepreneurial skills to create platforms and places that give access to more St. Louis families. Her latest venture is the Delmar DivINe™—the transformation of a neighborhood eyesore, the historic St. Luke’s Hospital, into a multi-use real estate development opened in late 2021.


Maxine is a Founding Managing Director of Prosper Women’s Capital, the Board of Advisors of Lewis and Clark Ventures and an advisor to the TxO Fund. Maxine is a member of the Build-A-Bear Workshop Board of Directors and a recent past member of Footlocker, Inc. Board of Directors. Maxine is also an Emeritus member of the Washington University Board of Trustees and a board member of, Barnes Jewish Hospital, Goldfarb School of Nursing,  New America, and PBS national Nine PBS boards. In 2017 Maxine was named to the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame and in 2015 was named Women of the Year by the Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation. 

The Team

The Team


Adam Walker

Construction Manager


Paul Parham

Product Manager


Morgan Groth

Design / Social Media


Lexii Gregory

Community Engagement / Events


Aaron Church

Design / Park Lead


Sara Feagans

Newsletters / Events

Abby Devereux

Design Team

Marrisa A. Shelton

Development Coordinator

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Mariah Stewart

Grant Manager

Donor Roll

Donor Roll

Aaron Bunse

Abdul Samad Alvi

Alex Kauffman

BFW Contractors

Christina Cook

Cindy Mense

Colleen Autry

Cortex Innovation Community

Curtis, Heinz, Garrett & O’Keefe

Dalton Webb

Dave & Cathy Brown

Deborah Cannon

Deborah Dolgin

Doug Eller

Downtown CID

Dutchtown CID

Dutchtown Main Street



Eric & Sara Gilbert

Erin Wittland

Fatimah Muhammad

George McCrory

Griesedieck Brothers


Invest STL

James Page

Jenny Birgé

Jim Ladd

Jim Shelvy

Joe Jones

John Sweet

Juwanna Brown

Kathleen Greminger

Katie Holtgrave

Lacy Cagle

Lawrence Cohn

Lesli Thellman

Margaret McDonald

Meridith Perkins

Mike Woods

Myrna Guerrero

Nancy Ridenour

Neal Richardson

Nestle Purina PetCare Company

Nicole Hawkins

Nicole Johnson

Paul Parham

Paul Tice

Peter Wagner

Rachel Roman

Regina Dennis

Robust Cannabis

Ruth Siteman

Ryan Pearson

Sally & Tom Cohn

Samantha Lee Smugala

Santiago Navarro

Taryn Risley

Tim Elwell

Tom Smugala


Tyler Mackie

William Lakin

Zach Foppe

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