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Pop-up parks will appear across D.C. this Friday

The city is holding its yearly PARK(ing) Day, a public space event

A group of people sits in a temporary mini-park installed in a street parking space in the middle of a city.
A parklet during D.C.’s 2013 PARK(ing) Day
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Original post, September 18:

District businesses and civic groups are set to transform street parking spaces in their neighborhoods into mini-parks, or parklets, this Friday as part of PARK(ing) Day 2019. Annually, D.C. hosts the event, which began more than a decade ago in San Francisco, along with cities across the U.S. and the world. Local transportation officials accepted pitches for parklets—limited to certain metered parking spots in the middle of blocks—starting in July.

Chinatown and NoMa are two neighborhoods that will have mini-parks. In the former, the Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID) will install a pair of parklets “centered around urban agriculture,” per the group. They will be located at 713 7th Street NW from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Visitors will be able to plant herb seedlings and receive free hummus bowls and coffee. Food and gardening resources from D.C. Public Library will be available as well.

In NoMa, that neighborhood’s BID is supporting four parklets between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The mini-parks will be installed on both the east and the west sides of First Street NE:

  • A “pool party” from architecture firm Antunovich Associates that will include “artificial turf, a 2-foot-by-foot pool covered in glass mosaic tile, plantings, and chaise lounges and other seating.” Lemonade will be provided. (1100 block of First Street NE, west side)
  • A “giving tree” from marketing agency Brllnt and design firm Design Foundry, decked with cards. “The cards can be taken away by visitors and given away personally, or left for the Brllnt team to distribute to community members, along with the book donations they’ll be accepting all day long,” says the BID. (1100 block of First Street NE, west side)
  • A “mirror park” from architect Colin Murray, “enclosed on three sides by wooden shipping pallets, turned on their sides and filled with plantings along the top.” The parklet will come with sod grass, chairs, and blankets, and restaurant Laos is Town will provide free food. (1200 block of First Street NE, east side)
  • A miniature Tanner Park from the NoMa Parks Foundation, modeled after the 2.5-acre park currently under construction off the Metropolitan Branch Trail, near R Street NE. The actual park is expected to be completed in early 2020 and will add rare green space in the former industrial neighborhood. (1200 block of First Street NE, east side)

The District Department of Transportation is coordinating PARK(ing) Day. In 2018, about 30 proposals were accepted. The event is designed to help residents reimagine city streets.

Update, September 19:

Here’s a map of the 30-plus parklets planned around the city Friday, according to officials.