Park(ing) Day 2011

Park(ing) Day is coming to Roland Park, in Baltimore,  on Friday, September 16th! Roland Park Native, Blue Water Baltimore, Belair Road Supply, and Green Fields Nursery are collaborating to temporarily transform three metered parking spaces at 5201 Roland Avenue into a prototype for a landscaped and pedestrian-friendly space.

What is Park(ing) Day, you ask? I’ll let the folks at Park(ing) Day 2011 tell you:

PARK(ing) Day is an annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.

The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!

For us, it is a chance to explore the ways in which this particular piece of streetscape could be, well, more!  What if families walking to and from school had more room to walk?  What if  the parking spaces were replaced with a bioretention area filled with native plants that could filter polluted runoff on Roland Avenue before it is dumped into Stony Run?

Unlike many other Park(ing) Day events in Baltimore,  our organizers are not landscape architects or design students. Our goal is for everyone who stops by to think “Cool idea, but I could do better than that”.  And then, on the 3rd Friday in September of 2012, actually do it better.  Because THAT would be cool.

And, if you’d like to help set up or take down the park, send an email to info@RolandParkNative.org. We’d love a few more hands!

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