By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
An effort aimed at temporarily reclaiming public land for public park space and bringing awareness to the idea was held Friday at Oklahoma State University.
Members of the American Society of Landscape Architecture reclaimed the parking spot of a well-known member of the university — President Burns Hargis — during PARKing Day.
ASLA members joined organizations around the globe who embrace alternate means of transportation other than cars and returning parking space to the public in the form of park land.
ASLA-OSU President James Hazzard said last year’s inaugural event was successful, and the group wanted to stage it again.
“We like the purpose of the day and that mindset so we wanted to keep doing that,” he said. “We thought the best way to do that would be to use President Hargis’ spot.”
Hazzard got in touch with OSU administration and outlined his plan. He said Hargis is like-minded in caring for the beauty of the campus, so the project was well received.
“They said they were more than happy to and they were very supportive of it,” he said.
Students spent approximately nine hours Friday in a structure constructed on Hargis’ parking spot, located in front of Whitehurst Hall. The area is a high-traffic one for students traveling from class to class. Handouts were given and approximately 50 students and staff stopped to inquire.
Hazzard said that he hopes more organizations and awareness will come to the event next year, but was happy with the outcome this year.
“I think that parking is an issue on campus in some ways, but there’s already a movement on campus within the last couple of years,” he said. “There’s been a number of projects and we’ve been involved in those.”
He said Hargis has worked to continue the idea with Campus Beautification Day. He said it will be interesting to see where they take the project next year.