College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Landscape Architecture

PARK(ing) Day!

From the Diamondback: "DOTS, UMD students turn a parking space into a sculpture garden"

The American Society of Landscape Architects student chapter at the University of Maryland took over a parking space in front of Cole Field House for five hours on Friday and turned it into a sculpture garden for PARK(ing) Day.

Communities around the world also participated in the event, which turns metered parking spaces into public places through art and environmental activism.

The garden this year featured a block path with blue polished pebbles, sculptures made out of wood and cloth, and a bench made out of a tree trunk. Ten ASLA chapter and three Terrapin Beats members participated in the event.

“The main takeaway message there is that we can take our urban spaces and make them into more green spaces that make cities more livable and enjoyable for people,” senior landscape architecture major and ASLA student chapter President Nicholas Martinazzi said.

READ MORE: Student organizations turn parking into green spaces for a day

This is the third year this university’s ASLA chapter hosted the event. And this time around, it partnered with Terrapin Beats Society to add music to the background of the sculpture garden.

Terrapin Beats is “awesome because they are a student DJ group on-campus, so they are providing us with free music, and we are also promoting them,” said Brittney Wood, senior landscape architecture major and ASLA events chairwoman.

The chapter also partnered with the Department of Transportation Services, which provided the group with parking spaces, tents, tables and chairs.

The plan is to continue expanding PARK(ing) Day and getting more people involved, Martinazzi said.

“Next year [DOTS wants] to make it a much larger event and maybe do it as a campus competition,” Martinazzi said. “So next year you might see a lot more spaces around campus.”

This university’s art department also provided sculptures that art students created for the ASLA chapter to display in its sculpture garden, and the campus arboretum and botanical garden provided it with potted plants.

“We work with the materials that are provided to us, and then we came up with the design and placed the different pieces and plants and objects that we had and went with it,” Wood said.

Crystal Alexander, a sophomore enrolled in letters and sciences who passed by the makeshift garden, said she enjoyed the artwork and found the idea unique.

“It’s a great idea. … There is asphalt everywhere and buildings everywhere, and I think this is a really neat way to bring back nature,” Alexander said.

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