By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—An unusual sight in Hampden on Friday, and it’s all part of an annual worldwide event.

Ron Matz has more on what popped up on “The Avenue.”

Folks walking in Hampden on Friday morning got a big surprise. Nature sprouted on “The Avenue.”

“It’s a beautiful vision to encounter on the way to work, to see a little bit of beauty and nature in the midst of the city is an important reminder that we’re connected to nature,” said Emily Telfair, Hampden resident.

That vision is a pop up park–two metered parking spots turned into a space people can enjoy.

“This is a worldwide annual event called Parking Day. The purpose is to take over a parking spot and demonstrate the value of that space should it be used for people rather than empty cars all day long,” said Megan Griffith, Mahan Rykiel Associates.

“So what we do and what people all around the world do is to take over a metered parking space and turn it into a park, turn it into a plaza, a cafe space,” Griffith said. People have a lot of creative ideas. This is our fourth year participating here in Hampden.”

Parking Day is sponsored by the Parks and People Foundation, highlighting the need for urban green space.

“The first year that we participated some of the businesses were a little hesitant to accept and embrace the event, nervous we would take parking from their customers,” Griffith said. “By the end of the day they loved it. They realized it brings activity to the street. It encourages people to patronize the businesses.”

A connection on a street where parking is at a premium.

“There’s been some mixed reaction. There are some people in the neighborhood who are worried that it’s taking up parking spaces. Personally, I think it’s a great thing. I think it encourages more people to come and enjoy the neighborhood,” said Jay Caragay, Spro Coffee.

This pop up park is here just for the day, but it’s hoped its impact will last much longer.

“The overall intent is to get people talking about how we can change the system and use cars less and have more opportunities for people,” Griffith said.

Friday marked the fourth annual Parking Day in Hampden.

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