Denver Creating Parks for National Park(ing) Day, 9/19
DENVER, 9/3/2008 – Celebrate Denver’s open space and support efforts for more parks on Friday, September 19, 2008 during National Park(ing) Day in downtown Denver. Several metered public parking spaces in LoDo will be transformed into temporary public parks to showcase the positive impact and need for more park space in Denver as well as other cities across America. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper will relax in one of the parks and show his support for sustaining and growing Denver’s park system at a 10:30 AM press conference.
This exciting project is sponsored by The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national conservation nonprofit. It is part of National Park(ing) Day, an annual event with over 50 cities participating nationwide this year, including New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Washington D.C, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. According to Denver organizers TPL, Denver Parks & Recreation and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC), the goals of Park(ing) Day are to rethink the way streets are used, celebrate parks and spotlight the need for more city parks to improve the quality of urban living.
“Denver is fortunate to average 9.3 acres of park land for every 1,000 residents, slightly above an average of 8.9 acres in comparable cities,” said Mayor John Hickenlooper. “That said, we must not take our park space for granted. Today’s event emphasizes this and compels us to find every opportunity we can to preserve and add open space.”
Denver’s “new” parks are on Market Street between 16th & 17th Streets, where the Mayor will address park lovers at 10:30 AM, and on Blake Street between 15th & 16th Streets. The public is invited to visit and relax in Denver’s newest open spaces from 9AM to 5PM.
“This is Denver’s first year participating in National Park(ing) Day and the Colorado TPL team is excited to be on board,” said TPL Colorado State Director Tim Wohlgenant. “While TPL is widely recognized for protecting iconic backcountry or working landscapes, we want people to know that we are just as committed to creating and enhancing urban parks within walking distance for everyone.”
Where there are public lands, especially in the city, there are volunteers to take care of them. Bevin Carithers, Director of Community Stewardship with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is thrilled to be involved in National Park(ing) Day. “VOC works to improve Denver parks every year. As we dig and plant and scrape it is very clear that people need more places to walk, run, play and just kick off their shoes and roll in the grass.”
Park(ing) Day is an opportunity for all Denver citizens to celebrate their parks system and to promote the need for more park space. In 2007, National Park(ing) Day helped to initiate more than 200 new parks in more than fifty cities nationwide and around the world. Trust for Public Land, a national conservation nonprofit founded in 1972, is sponsoring National Park(ing) Day 2008.
The concept was created by San Francisco art collective Rebar in 2005 to re-imagine the potential of the metered parking space. In 2006, in collaboration with TPL, REBAR launched “PARK(ing) Day”, a global exploration of the creative potential of streets. The goal: to transform parking spots into a PARK(ing) spaces, thereby temporarily expanding the public realm and improving the quality of urban human habitat — at least until the meter runs out.
For more information and a list of participating cities, please visit www.tpl.org/parkingday.
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.
Denver Parks + Recreation (DPR) facilities are unrivaled in the Rocky Mountain West. The DPR system spans over a 138-year history from the first park created in 1868 to nearly 15,000 acres of urban parks and mountain parkland today. It embraces nearly 3,000 acres of “traditional” parks and parkways, 2,500 urban natural acres and close to 8,000 acres of urban forest within the city alone. The system has evolved from the early years of jungle gyms and swings to 29 recreation centers and 17 outdoor pools offering high-quality programs.
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to motivate and enable citizens to be active stewards of Colorado’s public lands. Founded in 1984, VOC has engaged over 50,000 volunteers in the completion of almost 300 trail and habitat projects. Work to date is valued at more than $15 million. Projects range in size from 15 to 1,000 volunteers and include building and maintaining trails, planting and removing invasive plants. This October the volunteer stewardship organization is working with neighborhood groups, healthcare organizations and the business community to build the Mile High Loop, a 5 k walking and running path in Denver’s City Park. For more information, visit www.voc.org.