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Re-introducing the Center for City Park Excellence

My name is Charlie McCabe, and I’m the new Director of the Center for City Park Excellence (CCPE) at the Trust for Public Land. My colleague, Ali Hiple, and I are hard at work continuing the legacy of founder Peter Harnik, who established CCPE back in the early 2000s. [For those of you who don’t know, Peter retired from the Trust for Public Land in October, but is keeping busy with many new projects.]

A little bit about me: I’ve been working in parks for the last eleven years. I was Executive Director of the Austin Parks Foundation from 2005-2012 and then Director of Public Programs for the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy in Boston from 2012-2015. During the last year and a half, I pursued a Master’s program at Pratt Institute in Urban Placemaking and Management. Between classes and thesis research, I worked at the Municipal Art Society of New York, at New Yorkers for Parks, and as a seasonal horticulturist at the Rose Kennedy Greenway.  In the past year, I’ve volunteered at Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Fort Greene Park, among others. I’m also a board member for the City Parks Alliance.

We’ll be continuing the Center’s annual publications and reports; namely City Park Facts, the comprehensive report of park systems in the 100 largest cities in the United States, and Parkscore, our annual ranking of those same 100 largest cities in terms of park systems. We’ll also be keeping our finger on the pulse of the urban park world, and publishing other articles and reports as interesting new topics and stories come to light.

Before, during, and after, we’ll be digging into the great amount of data that CCPE has compiled over the years, and learning about and reporting on trends in spending, acreage, and park facilities. We’re also trying to learn more about all of the great partnerships that are increasingly behind new parks, as well as coming up with innovative and creative ways that combinations of non-profit organizations, community group, funders, and business improvement districts are building, operating, maintaining, programming and funding parks in cities across the United States.

And that’s where you, dear reader of the City Parks Blog, come in. If you know of an innovative park, a best practice in operating and maintaining a park, a unique partner that helps build, program or maintain parks, or want to highlight an amazing best practice that you and your colleagues came up with or want to give a shout out to the best community organization (in your humble opinion), we want to know about it too.

You can reach us at ccpe@tpl.org  We’d be thrilled to hear from you.

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