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National Park Service centennial volunteer ambassador Natalia Sanchez played cornhole at the parklet sponsored by the park service.
Jax Daily Record Monday, Sep. 19, 201612:00 PM EST

Turning out for PARK(ing) Day

by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Downtown Vision Inc. postponed a news conference about its parklet pilot project, but that didn’t stop more than 15 one-day parklets from springing up Friday along Downtown streets.

Jake Gordon, DVI CEO, said the design and permitting process for Jacksonville’s first public space built on a metered parking space took longer than anticipated, but the project will proceed this week.

He said the building permits are approved and Auld & White Constructors has been selected to install the first long-term parklet in front of The Brick Coffee Shop at the Ed Ball Building.

“There are a lot of unknowns any time you do a pilot program,” said Gordon.

Since 2005, the third Friday in September is PARK(ing) Day, when thousands of small parks all over the world are set up on top of urban parking spaces for a few hours.

The parklets got a lot of attention from Downtown workers who were out for lunch.

Kristi Rice, who was giving away food samples from Urban Grind Coffee Co. along West Bay Street, said having a parklet for a day was a way to meet new customers.

“This is different. I like it,” she said.

The National Park Service set up a three-space parklet along Laura Street between Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches and Wolf & Cub.

Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Natalia Sanchez said she has set up booths at many locations as part of the 100th anniversary of the park service, but Friday was something completely different.

“This is the first time we’ve ever set one up in the street,” she said.

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