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Parklets Sprout Up in the District, from NoMa to Georgetown

by Lark Turner

Parklets Sprout Up in the District, from NoMa to Georgetown: Figure 1
A parklet outside Baked & Wired.

On Friday, pieces of asphalt around the District were cordoned off and transformed into oases — or at least, that was the idea. These mini parks, called parklets, were set up as part of PARK(ing) Day, the stated mission of which is to “call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat.”

Parklets Sprout Up in the District, from NoMa to Georgetown: Figure 2
Baked & Wired’s parklet was busy.

UrbanTurf checked out parklets in NoMa and Georgetown on Friday morning to see whether the parks were attracting attention.

Parklets Sprout Up in the District, from NoMa to Georgetown: Figure 3

The winner among those we saw? Baked & Wired’s parklet, by a large margin. The Georgetown coffeeshop set up reclaimed wood benches and plants atop a turf carpet. The not-so-busy street outside the shop, not to mention the weather, may have also contributed to people’s willingness to sit in the parklet and stay awhile. Some parklets, like FLOR’s in Georgetown, weren’t quite ready by 9 am, that stated time that the parks would open around the city. But the most popular time to drop by, as Greater Greater Washington noted, may be around lunch, when office workers are looking for a place to eat.

Parklets Sprout Up in the District, from NoMa to Georgetown: Figure 4
Two back-to-back parklets at First and M Streets NE in NoMa.

In NoMa, the only people using the parklets in the morning were members of the NoMa Business Improvement District, which organized the neighborhood’s parklets, and set them up with games and activities.

Parklets Sprout Up in the District, from NoMa to Georgetown: Figure 5
Chairs, games and music were set up at the parklet on First and Pierce.

When asked how many people had stopped by to enjoy the parklet at First and Pierce Streets NE, a BID representative responded drily, “Three. But I think more will show up when we start giving out free ice cream at noon.”

Parklets Sprout Up in the District, from NoMa to Georgetown: Figure 6
A parklet-in-progress outside FLOR in Georgetown.

You can check out a map of all the District’s parklets operating until 3 p.m. on Friday here.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/parklets_sprout_up_in_DC_from_noma_to_georgetown/8990

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