Temporary park to show importance of open space

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Get ready to hit the pavement tomorrow to enjoy some fun in the sun and to help promote awareness about the importance of open space in today’s concrete-dominated society.

The K-State Student Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects is scheduled to host K-State PARK(ing) Day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in four parking spaces in the O lot west of Memorial Stadium.

According to the national Web site, PARK(ing) Day is a global event started in San Francisco where artists, activists and citizens collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking into PARK(ing) spaces: temporary public parks.

Kelsey Kern, SCASLA president and fifth-year senior in landscape architecture, said the national celebration usually takes place in September, but since SCASLA members were busy in the fall, they decided to have a similar event on April 22.

“We thought it’d be a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day,” Kern said.

SCASLA members will arrive at the designated parking lot at 7 a.m. and begin spreading an 800-square-foot block of sod over four consecutive parking spaces to create a temporary park for students to hang out and enjoy the weather.

“Really, the purpose of [this event] is to show the importance of open space and the importance of interacting with nature,” Kern said. “For overall human well-being, I think it’s important for people to know where they came from and how humans and nature go together. It’s also to promote creative play and unplanned social interaction.”

Kern said SCASLA members will be present throughout the day to greet students and assist in games like Twister and a Hula-hoop contest.

“We’re giving people the opportunity to sit down in the grass and read a book or magazine, play games and just enjoy the beautiful day, enjoy the weather, environment and be social and have fun,” she said.

Wednesday will mark the first K-State PARK(ing) Day, and Kern said she hopes the event will become a SCASLA tradition.

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