092519_MNS_Park(ing)_Day Gibbs Landscaping

Park(ing) Day gives companies and nonprofits a chance to be creative with mini-parks in the Lenox Square parking lot, like this one Gibbs Landscaping created in 2018.

If it’s late September, it means Park(ing) Day has returned to the Lenox Square mall parking lot on Peachtree Road in Buckhead.

Sept. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., some of Atlanta’s most creative minds will transform 40 Lenox parking spaces into a patchwork of popup parks for one of the Southeast’s largest Park(ing) Day celebrations.

Livable Buckhead, a nonprofit whose mission is to add more greenspace to the community, is hosting the event for the fifth straight year, joining individuals nationwide in turning parking spaces into temporary parks. Park(ing) Day was started in 2005 by John Bela in San Francisco as a way to beautify a dull street, and today it’s a worldwide phenomenon for urbanism that normally takes place annually on the third Friday in September.

In addition to the mini-parks, the event also includes food trucks and activities for the Buckhead lunchtime crowd. Each of the mini-parks will have interactive elements, and visitors will be asked to vote for their favorites. Lime, one of the most popular e-scooter operators in metro Atlanta, will be on site to give the public an opportunity to test drive the e-scooters and learn more about how to safely use them on Buckhead roads.

Park(ing) Day is a creative showcase for local businesses and organizations. Previous years have included an “infinite forest” that transported visitors into a sea of green, a mini-version of Buckhead’s Blue Heron Nature Preserve and even a pen with live goats.

This year’s event promises even more creative fun for the lunchtime crowd. “Park rangers” from Urban Enterprises will welcome visitors and distribute passes for free popsicles from King of Pops. Lenox Square’s mini-park will give visitors a chance to sink a putt for prizes, while the Amli 3464 apartment complex will feature a succulent terrarium and seed planting station.

Georgia Commute Options will have a people-powered “bus” circulating throughout the event to highlight the importance of last-mile connectivity. HGOR, a planning and landscape architecture firm, has plans for an elaborate “Under the See” park featuring palm trees, sand and an ocean-like shade canopy complete with sea creatures.

“We have some partners that have participated every year and somehow manage to top themselves each time,” Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling said in a news release. “Park(ing) Day is all about fun and creativity and all of the great things that parks can bring to our lives.”

For more information, visit www.livablebuckhead.org/parkingday.

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