In celebration Friday of the worldwide event PARK(ing) Day, parking spots along San Bruno Avenue in Richmond will be transformed for the day into a green space.
The Richmond event, hosted by the National Park Service (NPS), will be located at 12264 San Pablo Ave., between Wendy’s restaurant and William’s Natural Foods. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., staff members from the NPS and city of Richmond will be on hand to answer questions, snap photos and offer information on regional parks and open spaces.
The transformed space will be “designed with a focus on fun and interactive activities” inviting visitors to “stretch out their legs and discover a built park space amid an urban environment along California Highway 123 (San Pablo Avenue),” according to NPS.
PARK(ing) Day is a global, annual event. It began in 2005 when a San Francisco art and design studio converted a metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. The idea — which was a call for more urban open space — has evolved into a movement with similar concepts being used in communities throughout the world. PARK(ing) Day is now celebrated on the third Friday in September.
One of the main concepts behind Friday’s event on San Pablo Avenue is to show the community that “you don’t have to go to Yosemite to experience a National Park,” said Kieron Slaughter, a NPS urban fellow who is working to expand opportunities for open spaces in Richmond.
“We’re a lot closer and more accessible than people think,” Slaughter said.
Slaughter was referring in part to the great urban park on Richmond’s waterfront: Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park, which includes surviving sites and structures from World War II that tell diverse stories of the home front.