Well folks, we did it. Today we turned metered parking spaces into ‘parks’ for a few hours. We created a grassy space to sit down and read, hosted a knitting circle, made a butterfly garden, and gave away lettuce seedlings – all in parking spaces on busy 3rd Street in Los Angeles. We were not ticketed or arrested – in fact, a parking enforcement officer gave me a high five. We were, however, largely ignored (more on that, later). Overall it was a really great experience, and we’re already plotting next year’s (PARK)ing Day project. Above is a photo of me and Steph with the lettuce seedlings we gave away. More photos of the whole project (three spaces in a row) – and a giveaway – coming soon.
Psst. Hey, you. Yeah – you with the green thumb, or the love of the outdoors, or the fabulous creativity. Oh, and you, too – you with the passion to green your city, or reclaim public space from cars, or be part of a grassroots movement: Now is the time to start planning your PARK(ing) Day 2011 project!
PARK(ing) Day is an annual, worldwide event that invites citizens everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good.
Last year I visited a PARK(ing) Day park. This year I’m going to collaborate on one with my friend Stephanie, the proprietor of Plant and Play LA, a garden design company specializing in family-friendly gardens. We’re planning to work on a few spaces with some of the lovely ladies of 3rd Street, namely Renee of Hands On 3rd and Natalie of The Traveler’s Bookcase. If you’re thinking, “Oh my word, I luuurrrve Hands On 3rd and The Traveler’s Bookcase,” well – yeah, me too! And if you’re not familiar with them, they are both fabulous shops.
Hands On 3rd is a craft studio offering back-to-basics workshops and creative space, plus just the right touch of charming retail. Their slogan: “Do-It-Yourself, Experiment, Learn a Craft, Share a Skill. It’s all about community.” The perfect place to get inspired, and a great fit for PARK(ing) Day.
The Traveler’s Bookcase is an independent bookstore run by a seasoned traveler who knows her stuff! The owner has been to over 75 countries and is there to offer expert advice. Travel books, travel lit, gifts, globes, maps, accessories, even stuff for kids – make sure you feed your meter, because you’ll definitely lose track of time in this wonderful shop.
As you can probably tell, I’m pretty darned excited about setting up PARK(ing) Day parks with these ladies. Our plans haven’t been finalized yet, but we came up with some really fun ideas at our meeting last week. Some teasers: butterflies, knitting, books, vegetable seedlings, giveaways. If you’re in the LA area, I hope you’ll come and visit us.
Are you planning a PARK(ing) Day project this year?