Parking spots converted into mini-parks

September 19, 2008 9:07:26 AM PDT
How about the green grass of a city park in your San Francisco parking spot? A conservation group is using that image on Friday to remind us about the shortage of green space in our cities.

On Friday volunteers in more than 80 cities across the U.S., and in almost a dozen international cities, will convert hundreds of public parking spaces into temporary parks.

Several curbside parking spots have been converted into mini-parks, or outdoor lounge spots, that are green or environmentally-conscious. The idea is to re-imagine the potential of a metered parking space.

The one-day event celebrates parks and promotes the need for parks in America's cities. The Trust for Public Land, a national conservation nonprofit, sponsors this National Park(ing) Day. It started three years ago in San Francisco.

"It's a concept that was created by an art collective right here in San Francisco called Rebar. When they ,in 2005, did the same thing, they created a park in a parking spot in downtown SF as an installation to explore the boundaries of what is public space. So now we encourage volunteers to participate and create their own parks," said Matt Shaffer, spokesperson for the Trust for Public Land.

There are instant parks going up on Friday in about 50 spaces in San Francisco. Parks will also be created in Oakland, Berkeley and Redwood City.

Organizers say this movement is working and is getting civic leaders attention about re-investing in local parks as a place for people to hang out.


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