Colorado State student promotes Park(ing) Day, despite insurance problems

Nicholas LeVack

Landscape architecture graduate student Evan Moore's Talk Like A Pirate Day-themed display. (Photo Credit: Evan Moore)
Landscape architecture graduate student Evan Moore’s Talk Like A Pirate Day-themed display. (Photo Credit: Evan Moore)

Toilets, wooden boats, potted plants and sod would normally be odd decorations for a parking space.

However, in September, graduate landscape architecture student Evan Moore promoted Park(ing) Day in Fort Collins with three displays in Old Town.

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Founded in 2005, Park(ing) Day began with Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, which turned a metered parking spot into a temporary public park. Since then, Park(ing) Day groups have sprung up all over the world.

“The whole basis of Park(ing) Day is to spread awareness of use of urban space and bring in green space,” said Jessica Doig, a senior landscape architecture student who also serves as president for the Colorado State University’s Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Moore said he incorporated inspirations such as Talk Like a Pirate Day, which was represented in one display by a wooden boat; and also renowned landscape architect Martha Schwartz.

“She has a lot of colorful and eclectic and interesting, out-of-the-ordinary designs,” Moore said. “I kind of mixed together some of the things that she has done.”

In previous years, Moore would have gone through SCASLA in order to attain the necessary insurance from CSU.

“I think some rules changed with … insurance requirements, so our program wasn’t able to do it,” Doig said.

Unable to attain insurance through SCASLA, Moore sought out Greenscape Designs Founder Jennifer Gardner, who provided Moore with the coverage he needed to create his parking space displays.

“I always wanted to be a part of Park(ing) Day, but I didn’t have the time to do the design work,” Gardner said. “So I thought, well, let’s partner up.”

Gardner, who described herself as a liaison between CSU and landscape architecture’s professional world, believes Park(ing) Day does a lot for communities and her field.

“I think that it just helps kind of educate the general population on the necessity of green space,” Gardner said. “It kind of helps introduce our profession to the population as well.”

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According to Parking Services Manager Randy Hensley, acquiring a permit for Park(ing) Day requires that participants pay a fee, provide necessary paperwork and cooperate with other safety guidelines, such as not obscuring the view of traffic or pedestrians.

“We absolutely support Park(ing) Day, and we definitely want to see it happen,” Hensley said. “With that said, we do have some basic requirements that need to be followed.”

While technicalities prevented SCACLA from organizing the event this year, Moore believes that should not stop people from participating in future Park(ing) Days.

“Any student can participate in future years, even if they don’t go through the school or even if they’re not in landscape architecture,” Moore said. “Hopefully people will think it’s a cool idea and participate in the coming years.”

Collegian Reporter Nicholas LeVack can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter by @NicholasLeVack.