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PARKing Day Event Brings New Life to Downtown Stillwater

Earlier this month, Stillwater,  Oklahoma participated in PARKing Day, an event aimed at transforming parking spaces in miniature parks. 

Students from Oklahoma State University's Landscape Architecture program worked in teams to redesign spaces around the downtown area. Each team was given a space and only two weeks to figure out how to turn the space into something new. 

Verity Cox, a fifth-year student in the program, said the project was about showing people what a parking spot can become. Her group's space included an arch over their space with beaded necklaces hanging to show how many people had visited the space that day. 

The groups used both new and recycled materials to create the space. Some of the material came from the Botanic Garden in Stillwater. 

"We didn't really feel like dropping 100 to 200 dollars on this project," Cox said. "We really wanted to stay with the materials we could find, and that's essentially what we did."

The groups were graded for the work, including creativity and promotion on social media. Alison Phillips said the more likes the groups received on Facebook, the better their grades would be.

They faced several problems, including the challenge of finding materials and designing the space in only a few weeks. Matthew Murray, a student in one of the groups, said working together was also a challenge at times because everybody had their own ideas for the space. However, they were all able to work together to create unique spots for people on the sidewalks to enjoy.

Oklahoma City and Tulsa, as well as cities across the world, also celebrated PARKing Day. More information on the global event can be found at parkingday.org.

Caele Pemberton was the Arts & Culture reporter at KOSU from August 2015 to May 2016.
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