PARK(ing) Day promotes open spaces in uptown Charlotte

New micro-parks will pop up on Tryon Street on Friday as part of Charlotte’s celebration of PARK(ing) Day, an annual event that will have groups transforming metered parking spaces into temporary “parklets.”

Fifteen organizations are being challenged to create parks out of six parking spaces in just four hours (from 6 to 10 a.m.). Each parklet team will also make a Little Free Library, which is a small, freestanding box that can serve as a walk-up lending library in a neighborhood.

The micro-parks – which will be placed about one per block from Discovery Place to the Mint Museum – will be open to the public through 6 p.m. Friday. Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is providing books for Little Free Library and will continue stocking them through the day, organizers said. After 6 p.m., the parks will be removed. The Little Free Libraries will then be donated to area neighborhoods.

A panel of judges will score the creations and pick winners for best parklet and best Little Free Library. Awards are gift certificates, ranging from $200 to $500. The event is being funded by the Knight Foundation.

Participants include: 505 Design, Barringer Construction, Boxman Studios, Charlotte Center City Partners, Design Resource Group, Discovery Place, Gensler, LandDesign, Lawrence Group, Metrolina Landscape, Microfarm Gardens, Neighboring Concepts, Perkins + Will, UNC Charlotte School of Architecture, and US Green Building Council.

PARK(ing) Day began in San Francisco in 2005 as part of an arts event to provide temporary public space to a part of that city where parks were in short supply.