Parks and Recreation Wiki

I call it the Pawnee Commons; celebration of Pawnee's history and people.
Wreston St. James

"Pawnee Commons" is the eighth episode of the season 5 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally aired on November 29, 2012 to 2.99 million viewers.


After calling out to Pawnee via the Wamapoke County Public Radio for park design submissions for Lot 48, Leslie Knope receives only one decent submission. However, after finding out it the designer is from Eagleton, Leslie profusely declines to accept the design due to her hatred for Eagleton. The designer is Wreston St. James, and Ben Wyatt encourages Leslie to at least meet with him before completely throwing it out. In Eagleton, an excited Ben and a bitter Leslie meet Wreston in the park that he most recently designed, a beautiful space that looks like something straight out of the Danish countryside, complete with fountains, men on horseback, Japanese gardens and Segway tours. Leslie doesn't understand why a fancy Eagleton architect would want to help with a Pawnee park, but Wreston assures her that for him, it's about the people. He was inspired by Leslie's passionate plea on the radio, but Leslie doesn't trust him for a second.

Ben insists Leslie move past her hatred for Eagleton and level with Wreston. She hesitantly agrees to have Wreston be the architect for the park, and in a gesture of good will, Wreston agrees to design the park pro bono. He ensures Leslie and Ben that he will begin planning immediately and deliver a model design as soon as possible. Later, two assistants from Wreston's firm stop by Leslie's office to deliver the park model, which turns out to be a cruel joke which mocks Pawnee. As Ben calms Leslie down, he sets up a meeting with Wreston to obtain the meaning behind what transpired. Upon meeting Wreston, Wreston explains the two assistants went behind his back and that he had nothing to do with the prank. Wreston subsequently fired both assistants. In a move unknown to Ben, Leslie turns up at the meeting and sprays whipped cream all over Wreston to get back at him, but in an embarrassing admission, Ben informs her he had nothing to do with the prank and just fired those who did. Leslie quickly flees the scene. Moving on from both incidents, Wreston finally unveils his real model for the lot, naming it Pawnee Commons. Leslie and Ben are enamored with it – it's a celebration of Pawnee's past and present, complete with a Wamapoke-themed playground and food trucks serving cuisine from local restaurants. The park of Leslie's dreams looks like it's finally getting on its feet.

Meanwhile, Tom Haverford has his colleagues help him refurbish his new Rent-A-Swag store. At the end of a long day, Rent-A-Swag's facelift is finally complete. While the color of the walls looks like dried phlegm, and the place is kind of depressing overall, it's the best Tom can do at this point. To show his gratitude to everyone, he presents them with two cans of a soda and one very small pizza. The following day, Ann Perkins takes Tom out to breakfast and hands him a stack of bills; everyone chipped in so that Tom could really spruce up the store. He does just that, and the final product impresses everyone.

Back at City Hall, Andy begins his new job a weekend security guard. However, he quickly gets bored and invites April Ludgate to join him and keep him company. The two subsequently start role playing, with April bringing out his crime-fighting alter ego, Burt Macklin, and April playing Judy Hitler. While in the midst of their cat-and-mouse game, Andy and April come across Joey, a nervous boy who got separated from his mother in City Hall. April informs Andy this is a job for Andy the security guard, not Burt Macklin. The trio wander City Hall and eventually find Joey's mother, who is extremely grateful for their help. April suggests Andy retire Burt Macklin, which he does reluctantly, as April gives "Burt" a dramatic exit from the FBI, complete with a handmade certificate and the sound of gunfire salute coming from April's iPhone.


Guest Stars

  • Brad Hall as Wreston St. James