Pop-up pocket parks bloomed in Alexandria and worldwide Friday for PARK(ing) Day, an annual event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform parking spaces into public spaces.
Eight parks in total appeared on Alexandria pavement on Friday.
“It’s really about raising awareness of park space in urban environments,” said Stephanie Winnicki, a landscape designer at Parker Rodriguez who was manning her firm’s pop-up park at the foot of King Street. “As landscape architects, that’s a lot of what we do.”
Parker Rodriguez employees took half-hour shifts at their park, which demonstrated how stormwater management systems function.
and Harwell, another landscape architecture and planning firm based in Old
Town, set up a park in the 500 block of King Street.
Employees Douglas Brooks and Monica Streeper were taking an afternoon shift and chatting over a board game. People would stop and ask what the park was about. Others said nothing and simply took a load off in one of several chairs.
“It’s really to highlight the use of public space,” Brooks said of PARK(ing) Day. “Is it for cars or humans? I think we’re highlighting that for the public.”
Participants simply reserved parking spots from the city for the day, then set up their parks early Friday morning. Most were schedule to come down at the end of the workday.
(PARK)ing Day usually incorporates metered parking spots, but folks in Del Ray jumped in anyway.
The Mount Vernon Community School Kids Club designed its own space in front of St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub. It included a performance area, reading spots and a foosball table.
Young adults working at the Pulley Career Center based out of West Potomac High School in Fairfax County made one hundred handmade flowers that were put on display near the corner of Mount Vernon and E. Oxford avenues.
To the south, a third park with no affiliation bloomed in the shade outside the Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray encouraging passersby to sit, read, drink coffee or just hangout.
More than 20 locations sprung up Friday in the District, according to The Washington Post.