2007 National Parking Day Announced

SAN FRANCISCO – August 6, 2007: Cities across America will gain temporary new downtown parks for a few hours in September, thanks to a public project sponsored by a national conservation nonprofit.

On National Park(ing) Day – Friday, September 21, 2007 – metered public parking spots nationwide will become public parks.

The goals, organizers say, are to celebrate parks and promote the need for more parks in America’s cities. Participating cities include New York City, Boston, Minneapolis, Washington DC, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and others. Organizers are also inviting local groups to participate, expanding the opportunity from one park to a system of park(ing) parks.

“By turning parking spaces into instant parks, National Park(ing) Day is a creative and playful way to shine a spotlight on the real need for more parks in our cities,” said Will Rogers, president of The Trust for Public Land (TPL). “Across America, cities are renewing their investments in parks because our civic leaders have come to recognize that close-to-home parks, gardens, and playgrounds are essential if we are to have cities that aren’t just livable, but lovable.”

TPL, a national conservation nonprofit founded in 1972, is sponsoring National Park(ing) Day 2007, a concept created by San Francisco art collective Rebar (www.rebargroup.org). In 2005, Rebar created its first “PARK(ing)” project by transforming a metered parking spot into a temporary public park, briefly expanding the public realm and improving the quality of urban human habitat (at least until the meter ran out).

“Our goal was to encourage people to rethink the way our streets are used, and to temporarily expand the amount of public open space in an underserved area of downtown San Francisco,” says John Bela, co-founder of Rebar. “We added ‘24,000 square foot-minutes’ of public open space that afternoon.”

Join The Trust for Public Land for a National Park(ing) Day event near you, create your own park, learn about park needs near you, and find out how to get involved.

When: Friday, September 21, 2007
Contact: Matthew Shaffer, (415) 495-4014, x316; Matthew.Shaffer@tpl.org

“The quality of our daily experience is only enhanced by often neglected necessities like parks, playgrounds, and gardens,” said Rogers, “places that get us in touch with nature, with each other, and with ourselves.”

Fortunately most public parking spaces are available for hourly lease!
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The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national, nonprofit, land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than two million acres nationwide. TPL depends on the support of individuals, corporations, and foundations.