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Build the mini-park of your dreams this fall

The city is taking applications for parking spot-sized parks

A mini-park from Parking Day 2013.

Fancy yourself a modern-day Olmsted? It’s not Central Park, but it’s a start: Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is taking applications for mini park designs to temporarily activate on-street parking spots this fall.

One day every year, dubbed Park(ing) Day, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) transforms street parking into little, community parks. Past years have included creative seating, chicken coops, a bowling lane, and a tea party—even a ball pit.

The parks stay up for one day—this year, that means 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.—before disappearing. It’s not unheard of for past parklet sites to eventually become permanent installations, though: Arcade Park in Capitol Hill, part of SDOT’s Pavement to Parks Initiative, was a parklet site in 2009.

SDOT’s mini-park template.
Courtesy of SDOT

The visual part of the application doesn’t require much more than doodling—applicants just draw their vision inside SDOT’s template and submit it with the rest of the application.

Choosing a location is part of the application, so applicants can give their parklet a sense of place (or small businesses can extend outdoors for the day, as long as they’re not selling stuff out there), but they have to be at least 40 feet from a bus zone and at least five feet from an alley or driveway.

Designs can’t include amplified sound or anything that could distract drivers.

Those that need extra funds to build their little dream park can apply for neighborhood matching funds through the Department of Neighborhoods.

The application window closes August 18. The funding application window closes a little earlier, on August 7.