Posted on October 9, 2014 by Allison Paisner
Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Mitchell
Two days before the recent United Nations Climate Summit, more than 400,000 protestors gathered in New York City to take part in the People’s Climate March in an effort to draw attention to climate change. While goals of climate change campaigns commonly include calls for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and transitioning to renewable sources of energy, the role of parks in the overall environmental health of cities is often overlooked.
At the Climate March, urban parks were, quite literally, at the center of the action. The march actually began right outside of Central Park, and hundreds of students, concerned citizens, and interest groups gathered in Central Park West. However, the role of urban parks is much greater than just providing a gathering space. Continue reading
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Posted on October 7, 2014 by Angelina Horn
Each month, City Parks Alliance names one “Frontline Park” as a standout example of urban park excellence, innovation and stewardship from across the country. The program identifies city parks that find innovative ways to meet the unique challenges faced as a result of shrinking municipal budgets, land use pressures and urban neighborhood decay. In recognition of its innovative practices in community engagement and fundraising, Scioto Mile has been named a Frontline Park.
As a state capitol and university town with a solid population base and diverse economy, Columbus has historically fared much better than other Midwestern cities during national depressions and recessions, but it is not immune to the problem of vacant properties and disinvestment from the urban core. The existing amenity with the most potential to help reactivate downtown Columbus was the Scioto riverfront, which was also the most neglected. A massive public-private partnership was formed between the city of Columbus and local companies to design and fund the revitalization of the riverfront, which would refurbish and connect the two anchor parks on either end of the mile. With an initial $20 million commitment from the city and American Electric Power, construction on the ambitious plan began in 2008 and the riverfront was re-opened to the public in 2011. Continue reading
Filed under: green infrastructure, partnerships, programming, renewal | Tagged: Columbus, Frontline Parks, Scioto Mile | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 22, 2014 by Allison Paisner
Photo courtesy of Ryan Howell, Recreation Coordinator
In the spirit of City Parks Alliance’s upcoming webinar, Stormwater Management: Partnerships and Best Practices, today’s focus on green infrastructure takes us to Wentzville, Missouri, where The Dry Branch Watershed: Clear Stormwater and Green Parks Project is underway. While the initiative contains several provisions addressing non-point source water pollution in the area, the construction of Heartland Park is innovative and comes with some great stormwater management controls worth exploring. Continue reading
Filed under: green infrastructure, partnerships, planning | Tagged: design, stormwater management | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 21, 2014 by Kathy Blaha
Earlier this month, more than 30 park professionals from the US and Canada were hosted by Denver Parks and Recreation Department in collaboration with City Parks Alliance for a tour of their park system. Eighteen cities were represented, including teams from Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.
Photo courtesy of Hope Gibson
The Denver team put on a first class demonstration of their expertise in planning, design, construction and programming – from the smallest neighborhood park to Red Rocks Amphitheater, a part of Denver’s mountain parks system – and in every case showing us how a twenty-first century city parks department operates: seamlessly.
From the neighborhood partnerships to the collaboration with their own city departments to alliances with social service providers, arts and music organizations, and other parks programmers, Denver’s parks department uses and leverages all the value that parks offer and its mission can muster. Citywide partners like the Trust for Public Land – perfectly exemplifying its urban mission – and the Colorado Health Foundation are working closely with the department on many of its projects; as are local developers, transit, and bicycling partners. On some of our park visits it was hard to tell who worked for whom; in fact, most simply said they worked for the parks.
Filed under: economics, facilities, funding, green infrastructure, health, maintenance/management, partnerships, planning, programming, transportation | Tagged: City Parks Alliance, Colorado, denver, Denver Parks and Recreation, Kathy Blaha, TPL | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 13, 2014 by Angelina Horn
By Andrew Silver, Friends of Tattnall Square Park
I’d never have imagined that people would love our park’s new rain gardens as much as they have, and I wouldn’t have imagined that they’d have looked so good after so little time. Still, when Friends of Tattnall Square Park first teamed with Mercer engineering students to design a rain garden, we had no idea that the road to success would take months of planning, changes, revisions, and tweaking. All we knew is that we had an oversized 60-plus car parking lot, a tiny inlet into the park, and lots of erosion and storm water eventually heading down the sewer at the low end of our park, sweeping sediment and pollutants along with it. The rain gardens have become some of the most popular sites in the park, but in order to spare you some of our steep learning curve, here are some rain garden tips that I wish would have been emphasized more in the sources we consulted. Continue reading
Filed under: green infrastructure, maintenance/management, planning | Tagged: Macon, rain gardens, stormwater management, Tattnall Square Park | 1 Comment »