community · environment · play

It’s PARK(ing) Day!

Park(ing) Day in Indianapolis
Park(ing) Day in Indianapolis. Image by DanO'Connor via Flickr

Today in Seattle, S.F., and other major cities, activists are taking over one or several parking spaces and turning them into parks!

PARK(ing) Day is an annual, worldwide event that invites city dwellers to transform metered parking spots into parks for the day. PARK(ing) Day in Seattle happens to fall on the first day of the [Seattle Design] Festival.

We’ll be partnering with the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) at their impromptu “park.” Drop by and join us in a Festival photo/design activity open to everyone.

SAM will also be offering an all-ages, hands-on artmaking activity; an artist-designed Cornhole game (bean bag toss); and a noon concert by James Whetzel, classically trained on the sarod and tabla.

More via the Seattle Design Festival, which is going on from the 16th until the 25th!   The festival is also pretty relevant since its goal is to explore our environments, how we use them, and how to make them better.

I was able to go see the Seattle exhibit last year, but unfortunately am parked at work today, so go see it and report back. Last year they had lots of games and give aways, and maps featuring the many parks that are scattered around the Seattle metro area.

Nature · Social

PARKing Day in Seattle

Speaking of public creativity, yesterday Seattle held its third annual PARK(ing) Day demonstration. Despite the drizzly weather, several groups such as the Trust for Public Land, Piper Creek Nursery, Hazard Factory, and others* came out to raise awareness about open space and promote public space and parks.

From the website:

PARK(ing) Day is an annual, worldwide event that inspires city dwellers everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good.

It’s happening already in Australia, Japan, Korea, and for the first time ever, in China! Rebar is up bright and early for the first major PARK(ing) Day installation in Paris. And hundreds of you are preparing to please the public with your own PARKs across Europe, America and beyond.

More at

Seattle held their event outside the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) downtown. One of the representatives from the Public Land Trust told me how the rotten economy has led people to hold more events outside in public places, from business picnics to yoga classes, raising awareness of all the public space Seattle has to offer and why it’s important to maintain these and add more. Hopefully people won’t forget that once the weather turns bad, or the economy turns good.

Here are some of the pictures I took at the Seattle event:

Park(ing) Day, SAM, Seattle WA 2010
PARKing Day outside the SAM, Seattle WA
Parking Day Seattle 2010 line-up
an arts+crafts table and lounge area were set up for visitors to PARKing Day
Parking Day Seattle 2010 Mark a Park
The Trust for Public Land set up a map for people to mark parks that they liked, could use a little love, or places they wanted parks.
Parking Day Seattle 2010 Bear feet
Bear feet drawn by a little girl visiting the event
PARKing Day activity, Rusty Oliver, Seattle 2010
Rusty Oliver, artist behind the Hazard Factory, devoted his PARKing space to this portable mini-golf obstacle he built.

Hopefully the weather next year will be nicer and bring out more participants.

*If I missed any organizers, please leave their names in the comments and I’ll update this post. Thanks!