Miniparks pop up in parking lots across Daytona Beach

Beach Street parklets feature food, games

By Loren Korn - Reporter

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Tiny parks decorated some of the parking spaces along Beach Street on Friday, in honor of National Park(ing) Day.

There were six parklets filled with food, drinks, games and arts and crafts and each minipark had a theme.

"It's a celebration of creating spaces, public spaces for people, in addition to vehicle accommodations," said Matthew West, project manager of LTG Inc.

The one-day display was organized by LTG Inc., a couple of nonprofit organizations and the city of Daytona Beach.

"Once a year, on the third Friday of every September, across the country, we convert temporarily some on-street parking to some kind of 'parklet.' It's just extending the open space out toward the street," West said.

Benjamin Parra, owner of Tia Cori's Taco, welcomed the parklet with open arms and believes this idea could help bring even more business to the area. The arts and crafts parklet was in front of his restaurant.

"Anything they do down here is always great," Parra said. "The other locations down further south on Beach Street, they are limited on parking spots so I could see where that could be an issue, where they are taking up a parking spot. But for them to do a little spot making it wider, I think that would be a great idea."

The city is currently working on widening the sidewalks to allow more outdoor seating and the parklets are a way to find out if the public is receptive.

"Widening these sidewalks, allowing for more people to dine and relax on the street is good for the businesses. It's good for the community. It's just fun. It's a fun way to spend the day," City Commissioner Kelly White said.

West said the goal is to expand the parklet locations to other cities in Volusia and Flagler counties.

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