Jimi Hightower, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park – Seattle

Just over four weeks ago, myself and two other KLSE staff members decided we would represent our park by participating in PARK(ing) Day. PARK(ing) Day is an annual, worldwide event designed to get communities talking about parks and recreation while re-thinking what makes a park.

We had no budget and proved quite resourceful in gathering supplies. In our first planning meeting, we decided on a Find Your Park theme that would encompass all local public lands – USFS, NPS, NRA, county parks, city parks, and state parks. KLSE is an urban park, located in the heart of Seattle, making this event very special to us because we were able some land for a day and be OUTSIDE.

We created a campsite complete with a tent, a sleeping bag, camp chairs, and some trees from a previous exhibit. Brochure tables were set up to display pamphlets and unigrids from local public lands as well as stickers, pens, and temporary tattoos. We also had a large map of WA with Find Your Park sticky-notes that allowed visitors to share their park stories.

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Despite our lack of budget, small design team, and shortage of time, we welcomed 247 visitors! We were quite surprised and pleased at the turnout and interest among the community. It was great watching people come and utilize the campsite as a lunch area, talk to Rangers about local hikes, reminisce on their park experiences, and share their stories with us.

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KLSE’s first PARK(ing) Day was a success and we’re looking forward to creating future parklets and helping our community find their park!