Celebrating in the Park(ing Lot)
Students Observe Landscape Architecture Holiday With Pop-up Urban Green Space
Pink flamingos, a Smokey Joe grill, some potted plants and a cornhole set.
Passersby outside Cole Field House on Friday were invited to take a load off in a reimagined midcentury backyard that occupied three parking spaces and evoked maybe the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore (minus the beehive ‘dos), or maybe something a little farther west.
“With the tchotchkes, we’re going for a 1950s Palm Spring trailer park vibe this year,” said Olivia Duley ’20, president of SASLA, UMD’s student chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
The local chapter takes part each year in the national organization’s annual Park(ing) Day, in which friends, neighbors and community groups come together to turn metered parking spaces into tiny oases of relaxation amid urban hustle and bustle. Now in its 15th year, the event encourages drivers to look for alternative, greener forms of transportation while reconsidering the possibilities for the urban landscape.
“The basic message is that we can have green spaces in urban areas,” Duley said.
The event was supported this year by Community Forklift, which donated chairs and other furniture for the miniature park, as well as the UMD Arboretum and Botanical Garden, which supplied the plants.