State Highway Administration Participates In 11th Annual PARK(ing) Day
The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) is participating in the worldwide annual PARK(ing) Day event on Friday, September 16. Located adjacent to SHA’s Headquarters Building on Calvert and Monument streets in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, SHA’s PARK(ing) Day display will model the ideal habitat to attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees. SHA, in cooperation with Baltimore City Department of Transportation, will temporarily convert one parking spot on Monument Street to a mini-park for the day.
Representatives from the University of Maryland’s (UMD) Entomology Department in the School of Agriculture will provide information about pollinators and the mystery of their declining population. SHA is partnering with UMD to create bee and butterfly friendly habitats through roadside vegetation management best practices. The three-year field study, led by doctoral student Lisa Kuder, started early April.
“PARK(ing) Day allows us to share that SHA does so much more than build and maintain roads,” said SHA Administrator Gregory C. Johnson, P.E. “From our partnership with the University of Maryland to using innovative roadside vegetation management strategies, SHA addresses safety and aesthetics as well as contributes to sustaining habitats for pollinators such as the honeybee.”
The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open spaces, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat.
SHA volunteers will set up the display in the parking space beginning at 7 a.m. and will remain on-site to answer questions about the SHA roadside pollinator initiative and PARK(ing) Day. Crews will dismantle and thoroughly clean the parking space beginning at 3 p.m. and return it to normal parking operations.
PARK(ing) Day began in 2005 in San Francisco and occurs annually the third Friday in September. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has become a global movement, with organizations and individuals using creativity to turn a single parking space into something green for one day.