September 15th marked the 13th annual occurrence of PARK(ing) Day, a movement of temporary parks set up in parking spots by artists, designers, and citizens worldwide in order to call attention to the need for urban green space. This year, our own Student Association of Landscape Architects (SALA) at CU Boulder participated in Denver’s PARK(ing) Day outside of Union Station. They partnered with CU Denver and Colorado State University’s landscape architect student groups, as well as with some local firms and other companies, to create a street with multiple mini parks all designed by each group respectively.
PARK(ing) Day Origins:
Hosted in San Francisco in 2005, PARK(ing) Day started as a single metered parking space downtown taken over by the organization Rebar. They paid the meter for a few hours and used it in a new way: to create a mini park by the people and for the people. Today, this event has expanded to over thirty five countries across six continents, and promotes creative thinking and design while expressing important needs of urban environments.
Environmental Design’s SALA’s Park:
The Student Association of Landscape Architects started planning their parking spot space back in the spring of 2017. The members all worked together to design different concepts for what the park could be, and eventually decided on the layout pictured here (artwork done by Asia Michaela Peters). Staff at the Creative Labs at the CINC helped them to make jigsaw-like pieces that people could build with, and lasercut onto the pieces were facts about climate change. This served to be a fun and interactive element of the park, but also to promote a greater understanding of why green spaces are valuable in cities.
They also worked with Fort Collins Nursery to borrow flowering plants and the campus arborist to get three small trees for their spot, and had to do a lot of coordination and planning to get everything to fall in place. CU faculty members Emily Greenwood, Scott Carman, and Shawhin Roubari provided invaluable help to the groups as well. It was all worth it; many students came down to Denver to visit the park, and it was a great success amongst the Denver public too!
If you want to get involved next year, be sure to contact and/or join SALA! They are always looking for new members and are excited to think about their design for 2018.
All photos taken by Sara Hutchinson, Ethan Herrold, and Kyle Burds.