Students, Faculty to Participate in Worldwide Park(ing) Day

Landscape architecture and regional planning student Kyle Navarro, left, an intern with the Amherst Business Improvement District, and BID executive director and UMass Amherst alumna Sarah la Cour tend a downtown Amherst parklet this summer.
Landscape architecture and regional planning student Kyle Navarro, left, an intern with the Amherst Business Improvement District, and BID executive director Sarah la Cour tend a downtown Amherst parklet this summer.

Members of the department of landscape architecture and regional planning are planning to place trees, shrubs and seating near Franklin Dining Commons on Friday, Sept. 15 to create two parking space-sized “parklets” as part of a worldwide event called Park(ing) Day.

The event takes place each year on the third Friday in September and is organized by artists, designers and citizens who transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.

“The reason for Park(ing) Day is to highlight the large amount of paved surfaces dedicated to the automobile and the need for additional park space for people,” said professor Mark Lindhult.

Lindhult is working with about 30 students who are involved with everything from setting up the parking spots to sitting in the space to answer questions. The department organizes a meeting a few days before Park(ing) Day to decide on a theme for the parklets.

“In the past we’ve highlighted green infrastructure and the landscape’s role in cleaning storm water,” Lindhult said. He adds that the department is hoping students from the architecture department and building and construction technology program will participate for an interdisciplinary collaboration.

The parklets will open around 7 a.m. and remain open until 5 p.m. that day.