A Social Experiment: Gig Harbor Park(ing) Day
Featured in the September 2017 Issue of Gig Harbor Living Local
By Brett Marlo DeSantis
Why now and why in Gig Harbor? Why not Gig Harbor! What is a social experiment and why is it important? We are often so busy with life that we miss opportunities to reflect, connect and intentionally design our lives and our communities. In simple terms, a social experiment is a human experience in the real world to create awareness of more perspectives.
Park(ing) Day promotes the use of temporary open space, also called parklets, to jumpstart conversations both in and about our built environment. If you are new to this conversation, this is an international event that has proven to be popular and successful around the world. Our local community is growing and changing. Let’s get out there and meet each other. The best things in life are getting to know people, creating relationships and having experiences. As a community we design and build physical spaces for us to conduct daily life. The beauty of this event is bringing people and passions together into temporary physical spaces to alter our perspectives of our own city. This will be the first time ever all of these community organizations and local merchants will be solely there to chat with you! You have their attention. Please bring your children, parents, animals and meet more people. This event will be truly successful when there are many generations involved.
Park(ing) Day+ 2017- To participate, you’ll want the details (this is a free event): Friday September 15, parklets will be set up in the morning. Noon-5 come on out and socialize! Saturday September 16th, 10am-2pm, the experiment continues…. Parklets will be cleaned up when chatting ceases.
What to expect? The Park(ing) Day route will be downtown Gig Harbor. There will be clusters of three to four parklets on the streets per zone: Judson, Pioneer, Skansie Brothers Park, Millville, Donkey Creek and Finholm. Maps will be provided with info to help identify your interests. There will be activities such as giant Jenga, painting rocks, listening to music, learning about local heritage, culture and history and more! There will be plenty of places to sit and take in the sights.
Who’s involved? The brave first generation Gig Harbor Park(ing) Day parklet hosts are: Allovus, Alinda Morris Interior Design, Allstar Guitar, Brett Marlo Design Build, City of Gig Harbor Public Works, Downtown Waterfront Alliance, Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team, Gig Harbor Dragon Boat Team, Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard, Gig Harbor Rotary, Gig Harbor Yachts, Harbor History Museum, Harbor WildWatch, Java & Clay Café, Kelly’s Café & Espresso, the Maritime Inn, McBeckland’s, Millville Pizza, New Neighbors, Peninsula Light Company, Pierce County Library, Pierce County Master Gardeners, SeaHags, Sharon’s Consignment, Skansie Netshed Foundation and Williams Flowers and Gift.
What to bring? Your ideas. Your passions. An open mind. Definitely invite your friends, neighbors, community members and those considering a move to Gig Harbor.
With your input, a committee will select the following: Best Parklet to win $250.00. Best Socializer to win $250.00. We are also excited to announce a $500 Educational Award will go to an outstanding high school volunteer!
With you there, and only two days and temporary parks, we can have many conversations and good times; this social experiment will no doubt catalyze our community to create even more social connections for our future.