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Tempe, Phoenix turn parking spaces into parks

Posted at 9:19 AM, Sep 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-18 12:19:15-04

To celebrate national PARK(ing) Day, citizens are transforming metered parking spaces into miniature parks in Downtown Phoenix and Tempe.

On Friday, participants will use parking spaces on 1st Avenue between Adams and Monroe in Downtown Phoenix to celebrate PARK(ing)  Day for the seventh year in a row. Spaces on Mill Avenue and 6th Street will also create parks between 5 a.m. and noon, on Sept. 18. 

This national day has been celebrated by cities across the country since in 2005 in San Francisco. Its goal is to challenge cities to rethink how streets are used and the need for urban changes that include nature and human connectivity. 

Some of the Phoenix parks include Dixieland PARK, Chalkboard PARK, Bike PARK, Pillow Fight PARK and more, while Tempe's will include a Green PARK, Desert PARK and Tempe's first PARKlet. 

Community activist Stacey Champion has organized the event in Downtown Phoenix. 

"This is not a day to protest, but a day to rethink how we use our public space to feel a sense of connection and community engagement within a large city," Champion said. "If Phoenix is to thrive, walkability and connectivity need to be important factors moving forward. Small, green, public spaces feed the soul." 

Champion is also curating a new art exhibit at Treeo near 6th Street and Garfield in honor of PARK(ing) Day that features plant art by Joe Zazzera called "Outside Inside."