What would happen if many of the Parking spaces in downtown Flint were transformed into beautiful mini parks?
As part of the MY FLINT program, University of Michigan-Flint students will be joined on Friday, September 18 by urban planners, park agencies and community advocates to observe 2009 National Park(ing) Day by transforming the red bricks of Saginaw Street to lush mini parks.
“Park(ing) Day is an opportunity for community members to engage passers-by, motorists, members of the press, and city leadership in a rational and respectful dialogue of everything from our city’s parks and public space to the environment and allocation of land to mobility issues and local beautification projects.” said Jonathan Jarosz of University Outreach at UM-Flint.
Gerard Burnash of the Flint River Corridor Alliance adds, “Park(ing) Day is a great chance to get Flint thinking about its public space – not only how it’s used, but also who is using it. It is also a great opportunity to generate more awareness about our community organizations by showcasing their mission, activities and values to people on the street!”
The Park(ing) Day activities will begin at 10 a.m. in front of the University Pavilion and continue until 2 p.m.
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. It was first observed in Flint in 2008. Fifteen partners constructed spaces to listen to music, relax, play games, and experience a virtual bike ride.
Park(ing) Day 2009 in Flint
This year again 15 partners will work to create six temporary parks for Park(ing) Day. Parks will be located on S. Saginaw Street between Second Street and Kearsley Street. Activities are being coordinated by University Outreach at the University of Michigan-Flint.
PS: Did you know Flint enjoys more public green space than most cities in the country?
The City of Flint has more than 1,800 acres of public green space. Flint offers a unique array of recreation areas due to the forethought and planning of individuals like John Nolen and J. Dallas Dort, also known as “Father of the Flint Park System.”
In 1920, a planner and one of the authors of the City Plan for Flint, Michigan, John Nolen envisioned small parks and play lots within a five-to-eight minute walk (1/4 mile) of each residential area. These would be supplemented by large city parks and connected by a series of park circuit drives, creating continuous pleasant ways around the city. The concept was supported by J. Dallas Dort, a carriage maker and auto pioneer, who began the first organized work toward building the city’s parks and boulevards and playgrounds in 1906.