Park(ing) Day is an annual, “global experiment in remixing, reclaiming and reprogramming vehicular space for social exchange, recreation and artistic expression.” The focus of this year’s event is pollinators, so ASLA decided to buzz around town to see the parklets popping up around DC.
Our first stop was the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science (HU-MS2), where National ASLA partnered with the school and Jeff Holzer, ASLA, from the Potomac Chapter, to host a week of activities, including a mini course on landscape architecture, a walking tour of the Howard University campus, designed by African American landscape architect David Williston, and a design charrette. Students sketched their ideas for a pollinator-themed parklet and then constructed a parklet on campus on September 15. The parklet included flowers, a gaming station, lemonade, and a sound station set to 500 Hz, a frequency that attracts pollinators.
HU-MS2, a leading STEM school in Washington, DC, is the only HBCU to host a public charter middle school on campus, demonstrating their commitment to creating a pipeline to STEM careers for adolescents. This collaboration is especially significant in light of landscape architecture’s designation as a STEM discipline.
Across DC, nine other parklets were organized for Park(ing) Day 2023. See the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) website for the full list and an interactive map.
DC is also home to a few permanent parklet installations, including one on the 1800 block of M Street NW installed by the Golden Triangle BID through the Streets for People grant program.