Just park it

While you’re hunting for parking Friday morning, don’t be surprised if your favorite spot is occupied by picnickers. That’s because September 21 is National Park(ing) Day, and some locals will be converting parking spaces into parks—very small parks.

“So much of the urban landscape is given over to cars. It’s not designed for people to enjoy. I think it’s really important to create a place that’s inviting,” said Nancy Mathison, one of the event’s Sacramento organizers.

Feeding the meter gives you the right to lease the space for any legal activity, organizers figure. In Sacramento, local organizers, including developers LJ Urban and architects Mogavero Notestine Associates, are going to convert parking spaces into spontaneous green space with sod, chess games and live music. Look for the little parks near the corners of 14th and J and 20th and K streets on Friday morning and, hopefully, throughout the day.

This year more than 30 cities around the United States are participating in the event, organized by the Trust for Public Lands. Mathison said she’s contacted the city’s parking-enforcement officials to give the meter readers a heads-up.

“The first question I had was, ‘Is this legal?'” Mathison explained. Good question. “As far as we can tell, it’s not illegal.” Check out www.tpl.org/parkingday or the blog section at www.ljurban.com for more information.