Reporting Ron Matz
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—If you were in Fells Point on Friday you probably noticed something unusual: landscapers and architects working to change the look of a simple parking space.
Ron Matz has more on a patch of green on Broadway.
On National Parking Day, a parking space in Fells Point is being turned into an urban oasis.
“Today is National Parking Day,” said Lauren Kovach, landscape architect. “People from all over the world reclaim parking spots and turn them into temporary parks for the day for the public good.”
It starts in the early morning darkness. Sod is carefully put down. Plastic bottles are put in place.
“We wanted to take bottles out of the harbor and show kind of an artistic use of recycled materials,” said Kovach.
“We’re going to bring out tables and chairs and sod so people can come and hang out and relax and enjoy their day,” said Tracee Johnson, Ayers Saint Gross.
As the small park takes shape, it draws the curious who watch a green day dawn in Baltimore.
“I think it’s important to raise public awareness about the environment, especially about water pollution,” said Andrew Thomaides, Fells Point visitor. “I think it’s a major issue that a lot of people care about and I like when people go out of their way to advocate for the environment.”
A wave-shaped awning is created using more than a thousand plastic bottles, many taken from the waters of the Inner Harbor.
“The city is trying to do something. We see the trash boats picking up the trash, but it really needs to come from the bottom up. So every resident of Baltimore City, every visitor and every tourist needs to be thinking about their trash. If they see something on the street they need to pick it up because it will end up in the harbor if it’s not picked up,” Kovach said.
The numbers tell the story. Six tons of trash is cleared from the Inner Harbor every two weeks.
“A lot of these bottles we collected out of the harbor,” Johnson said. “We spent one hour with about six people and we had three gigantic bags of bottles and three giant bags of garbage and it took only one hour to do that, so we know there’s a lot out there.”
It’s time well spent that delivers a message.
“What we were hoping to do is just raise awareness about trash, plastic and recycling,” Kovach said. “We have about 1,000 plastic bottles hung up on the structure right now and about 300 of them we reclaimed from the harbor in the recent cleanup we did.”
This is the second year Baltimore landscape architect Ayers Saint Gross has been involved in the global event, which started in San Francisco in 2005.