March 16, 2018 – Tim Winterich -

Saint Patrick and Parking?

How many ways can we see St. Patrick appearing in the world of #parking today!?

The Shamrock: Saint Patrick is known for explaining the doctrine of the Holy Trinity by using the visual concept of the 3-leaf shamrock. And today the shamrock is well represented in parking operations by, for example, the Shamrock Parking company in L.A.

In terms of parking structures, there are several examples of shamrock greenery covering walls and outside spaces. But you have a better chance of finding a four-leaf clover (1 in 5,000) than finding, say a shamrock-shaped parking lot.

However, I should mention that in January of this year, the Scranton Shamrocks joined the American Basketball Association. The ABA, by the way, is the largest professional sports league in the U.S. Anyway, the Shamrocks will play their games in the Mohegan Sun Arena, where the parking lot recently underwent a $1.3M upgrade that included paving and new lines. Go Shamrocks!

Yikes, Snakes: The legend here is that St. Patrick was attacked by snakes during a 40-day fast, so he banished them from the island. The only problem with this story, according to scientists, is that there were never any snakes on Ireland in the first place.

Unfortunately, for many folks in the parking world the same situation does not apply to parking structures. There are many interesting (or for some, harrowing) tales to be told about our serpentine friends visiting parking lots and garages. But we’ll let our readers pursue their own interests in this area via Google.

Instead, let’s go a little further a field and point out that for an $8 fee at a small parking lot in south-central Ohio, you can see the incredible Serpent Mound built by ancient Native Americans.

Measuring almost 1,400 feet long, this effigy mound looks like a snake with a curled tail and sits in a nice little park with a museum nearby. Whereas scientists are in agreement on the absence of snakes in Ireland, they can’t seem to agree on the age of the Serpent Mound, with some dating it to 300 BC and others dating it much more recently to 1000 AD.

Walking Stick: St. Patrick is famous for carrying a wooden walking stick in his travels around the island. And legend has it during one talk it took an extremely long time for him to get his message through to the gathered crowd. So, by the time he finished talking, his walking stick had taken root on the spot where he planted it and turned into a tree.

Of course, there are plenty of parking garages with trees growing on roofs as part of roof-top garden projects. And there are also plenty of creative approaches to greening the outside walls of parking structures, like employing massive screens covered in greenery (including shamrocks).

But I could not find one parking garage that had a tree actually planted inside it and sprouting up multi-levels. Please share any comments if you know of good examples of trees growing in parking structures, St. Patrick would be proud!

In any event, whether you are attending a parade, out drinking green adult beverages, or playing the Gaelic sport of Hurling, may the luck of the Irish be with you as you find that perfect parking spot and enjoy #St.Patrick’sDay !