Park(ing) Day Take Aways

27 Oct

On Friday, September 17th Mode Shift Omaha joined countless cities across the world and celebrated Park(ing) Day by building a temporary parklet, or miniature park, in a parking spot on South 13th Street in front of The Green House in Little Bohemia. We were one of 30 communities around the globe that received a grant, thanks to Spin, to make this parklet a reality.

What is Park(ing) Day first of all?!

“Is a global, public, participatory art project launched by Rebar in 2005. It is a day where people across the world temporarily repurpose street parking spaces and convert them to tiny parks and places for art, play, and activism.”

https://www.myparkingday.org/
A group of folks are sitting on benches made of pallets topped with bright teal cushions, surrounded by pink and white flowers and plants tucked into the arms and headrest of the benches. A red sign that says "Park(ing) Day" is being held by a man with dark hair just on the outside of the parklet. Umbrellas are in the foreground and a 4 lane street is behind them all.
The finished parklet!

Our goal was simple: use the parklet to host our monthly Coffee Chat to bring folks together to shift perceptions about land use and highlight the dangerous speeding issues along the 13th St. corridor. We were so lucky to have the support of the local businesses in the area. Archetype Coffee even donated the coffee for our chat! Christina of The Green House helped choose the flowers and planted them in our pallet benches. Yay for community!

A tiny table with a black and silver airpot of coffee and some cups sits in front of the parklet. The airpot says "Archetype Coffee" and the parklet behind it has bright teal cushions and pink and white flowers planted.
A donated airpot of coffee

The build out did take about 15 hours of work, mostly completed by our Volunteer & Membership Coordinator, Sarah and her husband Scott. Pallets from Heartland BCycle were used for the base and benches, and bright teal (matching our MSO color!) cushions made it comfy. Plants also brightened up the space, surrounded by blue corrugated metal pieces and a few bright orange safety cones to make sure drivers were aware of the unique installation.

Scott is sitting in his driveway surrounded by yellow DeWalt power tools. The beginning of a bench made of repurposed pallets is in front of him.
Scott mid-build

Overall, it was a huge success! We had countless conversations with passers by and really helped folks shift their thinking when it comes to land use, lane width, and place making.

A group of people are gathered in and around the parklet drinking coffee. There's an orange Spin scooter parked just outside the parklet.
Our Coffee Chat was a success
Time lapse of the build!

If you have feedback about the project, or ideas for future installations, please take our survey. Wednesday, October 27th at 7pm our Membership Meeting will be focused on discussion of this project and what our next projects will entail. Zoom registration for this meeting is here: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIqdOqtqz0pGdd27NAxFGUgvahOxM6BErO8

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