Parking Day, Pickling, and Permaculture

Scenes from "Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective," playing April 7 at 7pm in the Union Theatre.

Scenes from Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective, playing April 7 at 7pm in the Union Theatre.

By Shaun Daniel, Environmental Humanities Alumnus

I hear Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers post-Parking Day and pre-permaculture picture. And so can you this Thursday!

April 7 will be a big day on campus with three exciting P-themed events, each in some way related to reworking what we have in order to create something new and wonderful.

Here's how the University of Michigan reimagined a space on Parking Day in 2014. Photo by U. of Michigan Department of Natural Resources & Environment / Flickr, Creative Commons.

Here’s how the University of Michigan reimagined a space on Parking Day in 2014. Photo by U. of Michigan Department of Natural Resources & Environment / Flickr, Creative Commons.

First up, Parking Day. The Student Collective of Allied Planners and Ecologists (SCAPE) and several other campus organizations will be taking over eight parking spaces in the lot near the campus bookstore, reimagining the space for its potential. Suddenly what was private and lifeless will be transformed into the public and vibrant.

Parking Day is a global movement, typically enacted each September, but this year held early at the University of Utah. As the Parking Day website explains, “The mission of Park(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!”

Check out this celebration of urban public space between 10 am and 5 pm at the campus bookstore parking lot.

Pickling and Preserving (Lemons and Beets) on April 7 with Quinn and the Edible Campus Gardens crew.

Pickling and Preserving Workshop (lemons and beets) on April 7 with Quinn and the Edible Campus Gardens crew.

Next, the proverbial pickle; in fact, a whole workshop about it. Edible Campus Gardens will be demonstrating how to preserve lemons and pickle beets at El Sillero (now Burrito Baby) from 4 pm to 6 pm.

Participants get to go home with what they make. But hurry, there’s only space for 15 people! Follow the workshop link for instructions on RSVPing. If you miss out this time, Edible Campus Gardens puts on frequent workshops. Sign up for their newsletter here.

Finally, the permaculture picture. To round out a particularly perfect day, the Environmental Humanities program and the Urban Ecology and Sustainability Scholars are co-sponsoring a free public screening of Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective.

Called one of the best permaculture films ever, this documentary offers an inspiring look at an array of projects, concepts, and people in urban, suburban, and rural environments. It translates the diversity of permaculture design – with its focus on food, energy, building, economics, governance, and more – into something that can be understood by an equally diverse audience. All told, the film is an inspiring reminder that as humans we are capable of being planetary healing forces. Watch the trailer below.

Free and open to the public, the film will start at 7 pm in the Union Theatre (2nd floor of the A. Ray Olpin Student Union).

So, Parking Day, pickles, and permaculture – it’s a party. Mind those P’s. And if you have any Q’s, feel free to shoot me an email: shaun.daniel@utah.edu.

Shaun Daniel is a graduate of the Environmental Humanities program (M.S., 2015) and, when not working with the GCSC and ENVST, is a passionate proponent of permaculture – and alliteration.

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