Friday, September 26, 2014

Dublin Park(ing) Day 2014

When I can, I like to find interesting and unique (don't forget free!) community events happening around Dublin. I can't think of any more interesting, unique, or free event this year to rival Dublin Park(ing) Day.

The idea of Park(ing) Day began in San Francisco, but a number of other youthful and hip cities have become part of the project. The idea is simple: turn a bunch of parking places into mini public parks for one day.

In Dublin, more than twenty spots around City Centre were sponsored by local businesses and organizations. I was able to visit four of them during in a little loop around my side of town.

Green Design Build Park(ing) Day Park Dublin 2014
Green Design Build Park(ing) Day Park

Green Design Builders set up a park with the theme of their eco-construction business. They set out beds of sedum- a green roofing cover plant- for visitors to lay on and enjoy. I sat down and read for a while as cars blasted by. They were setting out the Go board when I had to head over to the next park on my list.

Sedum and a Potted Palm at Park(ing) Day Dublin 2014
Sedum and a Potted Palm

In the busier St. Stephen's Green corner, several more parks were set up, but these were less chill-friendly and a bit more activist... Not that that's a bad thing. The mental health advocate group See Change had a mental health fairy tree, where passers-by could hang their messages and wishes. Just like the one in Marlay Park!

See Change Mental Health Fairy Tree Dublin Park(ing) Day 2014
See Change Mental Health Fairy Tree

An urban farm project group had on display an astonishing selection of bizarre heirloom potato varieties, all grown in the city.

Unusually-shaped potatoes at Dublin Park(ing) Day 2014
Scraggly Spuds

Last on my checklist was a potted-tree-lined mini park sponsored by the Irish political Green Party. They are campaigning for Dublin City Council to plant more trees in the more permanent public parks in the city. Sadly, their chairs were covered with giveaway swag, so I couldn't sit in the shade of a planter-grown tree.

Irish Green Party Trees Dublin Park(ing) Day 2014
Irish Green Party Trees

Thanks to the businesses and organizations who put in the time and effort to set up the parks this year, I hope to see many more of them next September!

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