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Park(ing) Day brings beauty, life to UNO's student parking lots

Contributor

Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2013 20:12

Park Day

Photos by Joe Shearer/ The Gateway

Landscape appreciation instructor Steven Rodie,far left, discusses the parking stall project of some of his students outside of CPACS

Last Friday, seven parking spaces, mostly on Dodge campus and one on Pacific campus, transformed the small concrete areas with plants, exercise equipment, seating and a pig.

 “Piggie Smalls,” a pygmy pig, truly gave meaning to the phrase “attention hog” as passers-by stopped out of curiosity all day.

 “We’ve been here since 7:45 a.m. and haven’t stopped talking to people yet,” said Paula Tennant, a student in Landscape and Environmental Appreciation, the class that worked on most of the stalls.

 At their stall, they had a small informative sign about a concept called triangulation which uses various elements, in this case Piggie Smalls, to draw attention to a landscape or area. In the adjacent stall, the group created a small public park space with games and refreshments. While many of the trees, shrubs and other plants were young and immature, the class and day are largely about visualizing what could be.

 “A lot of times Dr. Rodie [the instructor] will have us close our eyes and visualize a landscape, for even ten minutes,” Tennant said. “We also walk all around campus doing the same thing, seeing how current spaces are used, and imagining what we might do to change them.”

 Three more adjacent stalls created their own unique design elements.

 “Our stall is centered on urban seating,” said freshman horticulture student Tatum Wolfe. “The trees provide shade, and the mulch and shrubs simulate the natural environment.”

 The urban setting was about getting people to go out into nature by providing comfortable places to sit, surrounded by the outdoors. Right next door to their stall, the Alliance of Fitness Professionals students had their one and only stall for the event.

 The group is mostly physical education and exercise science students, and the school Health, Physical Education and Recreation loaned them a stationary bike and rowing machine for their parking stall.

 “Just one parking space has plenty of room for two, even three exercise machines,” said Lauren Bowman, a freshman in pre-physical therapy. “Everyone knows the importance of being active, and our stall combines that with appreciating the outdoors.”                              
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