On Friday, September 21, from 9 am – 3 pm, the PHS Pop Up Garden will grow onto Walnut Street for Park(ing) Day 2012, an annual international celebration of one-day “parklets” that take over parking spaces. PHS’s 19th and Walnut Street parklet, one of 50 citywide, will preview the Fall Garden Festival—happening the very next day—as well as the 2013 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show.
“By turning parking spaces into instant parks, National Park(ing) Day is a creative way to demonstrate the real need to create more parks in our cities. Across America, cities are renewing their investments in parks because our civic leaders have come to recognize that close-to-home parks, gardens, and playgrounds are essential if we are to have cities that aren’t just liveable, but loveable,” says Will Rogers, president of the Trust for Public Land. “The quality of our daily experience is enhanced by places that get us in touch with nature, with each other, and with ourselves.”
Park(ing) Day originated in 2005 in San Francisco by the art collective Rebar as a way to re-imagine the potential of the metered parking space. In 2006, the Trust for Public Land became the national sponsor of Park(ing) Day, which expanded the event throughout the U.S. and internationally. This annual event celebrates parks and other pedestrian-friendly spaces in all cities, and also raises awareness of the need for more of these spaces for public interaction.
Park(ing) Day first occurred in Philadelphia in 2008, when 30 teams constructed spaces to listen to music, relax, play games, and experience a prototypical bike share. Park(ing) Day 2009 was also a huge success, with more parks and participants, including an appearance by the cupcake truck, a plant give-away, and a place to sketch outdoors. In 2011, more than 20 teams from non-profit institutions, community development organizations, academic institutions, and private companies created temporary parks in Center City, East Falls, North Philadelphia, and University City.
To learn more about Park(ing) day, please click here.