Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Master of Landscape Architecture students in the ASLA Student Chapter participated in Park(ing) Day again this year, with their popup park installation "Secret CARden" on 4th Avenue. They took over a metered spot between 6th and 7th Streets in front of Cafe Passé, transforming it into a small park space. The installation included plant materials and seating, the "CAPLA Cruiser," and materials to make a wildflower seed ball.

The design included signage informing visitors about the installation:

This parklet is a sneaky little garden workshop on a busy downtown Tucson Street. Our goal is to provide 4th Ave passersby with: (1) some comfy seating and conversation; (2) a place to eat their lunch or snack from nearby partner businesses; (3) the option of making a seed ball to take home, plant, and care for, and (4) a chance to interact with native plants.

All plants have been donated by local nurseries and will be re-donated to a high school in South Tucson. All materials are borrowed, recycled, or built from scraps.

Throughout the day, upwards of 50 people stopped by to make wildflower seed balls and talk with students about everything from public art, to native plants, to community livability. 

In response to the installation's interactive "what could this space be" whiteboards, visitors imagined the space as a shady retreat, a dog park, a "happy place to share with friends," and a public park.

According to ASLA Student Chapter President Nichole Caseber, "It was definitely a success! I feel it brought a lot of life and joy to everyone who interacted with us, and sparked a lot of curiosity and inspiration about how to improve and create new public space in our community."

Park(ing) Day participant creating a seed ball out of soil mix, wildflower seeds, and clay.

PARK(ing) Day is an annual event in that encourages community members, students, and designers to transform metered parking spaces into temporary parklets.

Parking Day 2018