Parking Spots Become Parks In September’s Park(ing) Day

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rethink and reclaim a downtown metered parking spot for a day in the 7th annual Park(ing) Day in Downtown Chattanooga. This event happening Friday, Sept. 19, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. gives participants the opportunity to create a temporary public space filled with fun and interaction.

Individuals, businesses and civic groups are all invited to participate in this free event organized for the second year by River City Company. With assistance again this year from CARTA, park(ers) and their respective parklets are required to register prior to the day’s event through River City Company and are encouraged to start planning their parks early. 

"Park(ing) Day is an easy event for River City to lead as it engages so many people and allows us the opportunity to talk about the importance of our limited downtown footprint and how public space plays such an important role,” states Paige Southard, program manager for River City Company. “Our goal this year is 75 parklets, and we know that Chattanooga can make it happen.” 

In 2013, 50 parklets were created and included cooking demonstrations, a backcountry campsite, a puppy petting park, yoga classes, grand piano parks, an ice cream social, a beach party, live blacksmithing demonstrations and many more.

"Park(ing) Day is a true community event and a great way to connect with downtown,” states Rina Handwerker with Rock/Creek. “It also reinforces the importance of urban parks. Last year was Rock/Creek's first time participating with a hammock park that let people get comfortable and enjoy some time outside." 

To participate in Park(ing) Day, email or call 265-3700 with a name, organization (if applicable), phone number and planned activity. There will be a general information meeting at River City Company on 850 Market St., 2nd Floor Miller Plaza on Wednesday at 3 p.m. for anyone that wants to learn more about the program.

Park(ing) Day was created by a San Francisco based art and design studio, ReBar, in 2005 to encourage communities to rethink the way streets are used and reinforce the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure to promote healthy, vibrant and walkable urban areas. 

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