For one glorious day—on September 16th, Park(ing) Day—Minnesota Avenue NE had public tables for gatherings and greenery. The WABA Trail Rangers teamed up with District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Urban Forestry Administration to create a unique, welcoming pop-up park, part of an international effort to reclaim our public space and think creatively about its best use. And we had so much fun!
Two adjacent parking spots (240 square feet of asphalt) were transformed into an urban oasis—complete with trees, planters, lunch tables and half a hardware store’s worth of fake grass. Our park-let was hopping all afternoon long as people stopped for free coffee, to eat a snack, to check in with friends and to get to know the local trails with the Trail Ranger team. In the space that is typically occupied by two cars we had nine chairs, four tables, two garden planters, one redbud tree, two cherry trees, two oaks and vibrant street life.
A city’s street parking is public space, and Park(ing) Day aims to demonstrate to the public what just a little bit of that space (8′ x 20′ is the size of a standard parking spot in DC) can do, if it’s truly used for the public good.
And the best part of our park is that it will live on! All the trees will be planted this fall as part of Urban Forestry’s work and the smaller vegetation will planted near trails. We will keep using our trailers for their intended use, pulling Trail Ranger tools, and all the soil is off to fill in holes around the city.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by to chat and enjoy the park! Thank you to DC Office of Planning for being a great park neighbor and to Eclectic Cafe for the coffee. See you next year!