- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The west lane of the street in front of the state Capitol in Lansing will be turned into temporary mini-parks this week.

Businesses and organizations will host the “parklets” on Capitol Avenue, in which people will be invited to play games, read books, sit down to eat lunch, hold a business meeting or even play in a sandbox, the Lansing State Journal reported (https://on.lsj.com/1MsiyBY ).

“We feel that putting a little park on the side of the road will grab people’s attention and get them thinking about way to use those public spaces,” said Derek Tisler, who is coordinating the project as part of the Michigan Municipal League. “We’re hoping for a conversation starter that will get people thinking about the long-term potential of the corridor.”

The concept originated in San Francisco a decade ago, when a metered parking space was transformed briefly into a mini-park complete with a bench, grass and potted tree. Tisler’s says that was an inspiration to do something similar in Lansing.

The idea is to encourage people to spend time in and around Capitol Avenue for the sake of being there, and not just for work or legislative business.

“We believe people want to live in areas they enjoy,” Tisler said. “The Capitol lawn is a beautiful space in front of a beautiful building - we feel it’s underutilized.”

Participating organizations will set up their “parklets” and the spaces will be open for the public Tuesday and Wednesday, Tisler said. The project is planned to coincide with an annual farmers market scheduled for Thursday on the Capitol lawn.





Information from: Lansing State Journal, https://www.lansingstatejournal.com

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