Downtown Nashua parking takes green approach
Yes, that is right — a parking space. But this was not a typical Main Street parking stall, as three parking spots were transformed yesterday into a mini green oasis, complete with a community garden, benches, sod and planted flowers.
“It is so weird to see grass downtown,” said Testa, a junior at Rivier University who is majoring in sociology.
Testa was one of several people to stop by the site yesterday, spending time socializing and taking in all that nature has to offer — right next to construction crews, honking horns and busy Main Street traffic.
Representatives from Visualize Nashua organized Nashua's first Park(ing) Day, designed to promote awareness of the environment and stress the importance of small, urban parks.
The city's event ran in conjunction with a worldwide Park(ing) Day initiative, which transformed traditional downtown parking spaces into small parks, gardens and unusual landscapes.
“In London, we have a ton of green space. When I moved to the states, I was so disappointed that this country has so much pavement,” said Homa Jaferey of Nashua, a volunteer with the Visualize Nashua group, a crowd-sourced placemaking effort that is making strides downtown.
But despite the city's urban flow, environmental issues are still real concerns that need to be brought into the spotlight, say organizers. Local artists and musicians joined in the effort on Friday, entertaining pedestrians and motorists in the downtown area.
“We need more of these initiatives in Nashua that play into the environment and get people networking in the community. This event really helps people expand their social network and gets people enjoying the outdoors,” said Hilary Grubbs, who lives near downtown and stopped by the parking spaces to make small talk with participants. Tom Lopez, who works for the Nashua Soup Kitchen and is also active with Positive Street Art in Nashua, said Parking Day is a great concept that should be embraced in communities throughout New Hampshire.
“It is really about being more visible, while bringing attention to the community and using space in different ways,” said Lopez.
Other larger cities such as New York City, have been participating in the worldwide Park(ing) Day event for years, but for New Hampshire, this is a get-together new and unique concept.
Organizers are hoping it will become an annual event, and get people thinking about the environment in a positive way.
Countrybrook Farms of Hudson helped sponsor the event, and loaned plants and other items that were used to make the traditional parking stalls into works of garden art.
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Kimberly Houghton may be reached at email@example.com.
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