GREATER & GREENER 2019: EXPLORING NATURAL CONNECTIONS REGISTRATION OPENS AND SCHEDULE RELEASED - January 29, 2019

More than 1,000 international urban park leaders to convene in Denver, CO focused on the role of parks in healthy, resilient, equitable and economically competitive cities 

Washington, DC: Park and recreation leaders, city planners, design professionals, urban park advocates, and funders from 200+ cities will gather inDenver, Colorado July 20-24, 2019, for Greater & Greener 2019: Exploring Natural ConnectionsThe five-day indoor and outdoor conference will focus on the role of urban parks in creating healthy, resilient, equitable, and economically competitive cities. Greater & Greener 2019 is presented by City Parks Alliancein partnership with Denver Parks and Recreation. Today, the schedule at a glance has been published and early-bird registration is open at greatergreener.org

“City parks promote environmental, social, and economic well-being and are critical to city-building strategies in the 21stcentury,” said Catherine Nagel, Executive Director of City Parks Alliance. “Over the course of the conference, attendees will network with peers and leaders in the parks community and select from more than 100 sessions, tours, mobile workshops and other special events that explore the latest research, strategies and thinking from experts from around the globe. Outdoor sessions will feature the unique Denver Parks and Recreation system that connects downtown parks to the mountains, fosters an active lifestyle, and features strong collaboration between the public and private sectors.”

For more than a decade, Greater & Greener has been the leading international conference for exploring the role of parks in addressing some of the biggest challenges in cities. Conference sessions, tours, mobile workshops and networking opportunities have been carefully curated to foster an honest dialogue around social equity, cross-agency and cross-sector partnerships, funding models, and replicable solutions for parks.Greater & Greener 2019:Exploring Natural Connectionswill emphasize the natural connections between parks and quality of life, parks and economic benefits, parks and environmental resilience, and the role of parks and city-building. The varied sessions, plenaries, tours, and mobile workshops will emphasize the natural connections between agencies, across sectors, and with communities. 

“We are proud to partner with City Parks Alliance in hosting the 2019 Greater & Greener conference to create a unique experience showcasing Denver’s urban and mountain parks system,” said Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation. “Our city’s extensive park system satisfies the inherent Colorado desire to be outside and supports healthy lifestyles throughout the city. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the Rocky Mountain region to not only share Denver’s green space success stories, but to also provide an amazing opportunity to learn more about public space and urban landscape management from leaders throughout the world.”

The Denver metropolitan region is one of the fastest growing in the U.S., due in part, to an ongoing commitment to an outdoor urban lifestyle. Historic vision and modern execution of the Denver park system offer leading examples of urban park planning, partnerships, design, and programming. Join more than 1,000 international park leaders as we explore the 250 urban parks, 14,000 acres of mountain parks, and 240+ miles of trail and walk of the Denver parks system.  

Greater & Greener 2019 Conference Tracks:

  • Activating Urban Parks Through Recreation– exploring the role of parks and recreation in promoting active, healthy lifestyles, activating neighborhood and downtown public spaces through programming and playful design, and making urban cores more livable and family-friendly.
  • City Parks Essentials– focusing on strategies to establish, grow and sustain public, private and nonprofit partnerships and designed to maximize interaction and sharing between participants.
  • Equity– equity is a focus of discussion in all Greater & Greener sessions, and in Denver the track will offer a deeper dive into building more equitable cities through parks and recreation. Sessions will explore equitable access to park resources, funding, workforce equity, community participation and the role of parks and recreation in addressing broader equity challenges our cities face, including affordable housing, environmental justice, youth development, and other topics.
  • Funding– consistent funding for parks and recreation programs is always a challenge as municipal budgets are stretched more than ever. This track looks at funding approaches that public, private, and nonprofit partners have developed to pay for park development, maintenance, and programming.
  • Parks as Infrastructure– with growing urban populations and aging infrastructure, local governments, city planners and others are taking a fresh look at parks and green space as tools to address some of our greatest urban challenges. From stormwater management and flood prevention to reducing public health costs to economic revitalization and job growth parks are a driver of urban sustainability. 
  • Urban Greening and Biodiversity– one of the connections explored at Greater & Greener 2019 is the one between cities and nature and the role greening and biodiversity plays in making our cities more livable and more sustainable. Sessions in this track examine strategies for developing, stewarding and measuring urban greening efforts, with a particular focus on building biodiversity and resilience. 

Visit greatergreener.org to view the schedule, see available continuing education credits, speaker and other announcements and connect with us on FacebookLinkedIn and  Twitter, using the hashtag #greatergreener. 

Greater & Greener conference support is provided by Landscape Structures, Inc., The Speedwell Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Toro Company, Urban Market Development, Hyde Family Foundation, Knight Foundation, REI, Salazar Center for North American Conservation at Colorado State University, Visit Denver, Atkins, Denver Arts & Venues, Denver Mountain Parks Foundation, Denver Water, Downtown Denver Partnership, ECI Site Construction, Gary Community Investments, Gates Family Foundation, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), Greenfields Outdoor Fitness, Greenway Foundation/Colorado Parks Foundation, KOMPAN, William Penn Foundation, The Trust for Public Land, University of Colorado Denver--College of Architecture and Planning, and Xcel Energy, among others.  

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City Parks Allianceis the nation’s leading advocacy group for urban parks and open spaces. As the only independent, nationwide membership organization solely dedicated to urban parks, City Parks Alliance leads and serves a growing network of civic and community leaders, government agencies, parks and recreation authorities, funders and others committed to the creation, revitalization and stewardship of parks and green spaces that contribute to dynamic and more equitable cities. For more information, please visit cityparksalliance.org.

Denver Parks and Recreation- As stewards of a legacy park system, Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) is dedicated to customer service and enhancing the health of residents and the environment through innovative programs and safe, beautiful and sustainable places. The DPR system includes 30 recreation centers and nearly 20,000 acres of urban and mountain parkland including off-street trails, parkways and natural areas. For more information, visit www.denvergov.org/parksandrecreation, check us out on YouTube, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Media Contact: 

Tom McCann

City Parks Alliance 

202-831-4619

tmccann@cityparksalliance.org

Greater & Greener Registration Open 1.29.2019