National Park(ing) Day Just Two Weeks Away
SAN FRANCISCO, 9/7/2007: Cities across America will gain temporary new downtown parks two weeks from today because of 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, according to organizers, are to celebrate parks and promote the need for more parks in America’s cities.
Supporters in more than fifteen cities, including New York, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington D.C, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, have announced participation. Organizers are also inviting local groups to participate, expanding the opportunity from one park to a system of park(ing) parks. Details online at www.tpl.org/parkingday.
Examples of planned Park(ing) Day parks include:
- New York City. More than twenty parking spots in the five boroughs will be transformed into lawns for lounging, gardens for growing, and other community minded purposes. Park(ing) parks will show up in areas of Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and Penn Station.
- Los Angeles: In the South LA community along Crenshaw Boulevard, a Park(ing) park will have physical activity features for exercise for the local community to enjoy.
- Seattle: Two mobile Park(ing) parks will first be sited at the Seattle Art Museum and the Olympic Sculpture Park-each complete with grass, a Hawthorne tree, and a bench-and midday, they’ll swap spots.
- Minneapolis and St. Paul: Park(ing) parks in the two cities will reflect contrasting park needs. In Minneapolis, a Park(ing) park at the possible site of a new downtown park. In St. Paul, a Park(ing) park in the Frogtown neighborhood, where local parks are hard to come by.
“By turning parking spaces into instant parks, National Park(ing) Day is a creative way to demonstrate the real need to create 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!
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.