\'Parklets\' provide fun activities for Columbia residents

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COLUMBIA - "Parklets" are bringing a little bit of green to metered parking spots in downtown Columbia between Cherry Street and Broadway.

On Friday, Columbia Parks and Recreation is joining other cities around the globe for parking day, which celebrates bringing gathering places to parking spaces.

Janet Godon from Get About Columbia describes parklets as "an extension of the sidewalk and it turns a parking space into a place where people can congregate, sit down, have a bite to eat, read a book, whatever they might want to do."

This year, residents of all ages will be able to play bocce, watch ukelele performances and observe open air artists in the parklets.

Make Scents and Bluestem are two local businesses taking part in this year's festivities.

"The parklet is very well liked by the businesses that it's placed in front of. I think that as people sit and socialize, they soon become hungry, or they remember they need to buy a birthday gift for someone and so it causes people to linger longer in a location where, if this wasn't available, they might just keep walking," said Godon.

Parklets are usually placed in flat, corner parking spots. Most of them are also in visible areas so more people are likely to use them.