For Immediate Release:
March 04, 2008

Media Contact:
Edith Torres

Miami-Dade Parks Presents the New Park and Open Space System Master Plan Vision at The 2008 Great Park Summit at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Friday, March 14, 2008, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

National and local leaders will gather to speak about parks, conservation open space and sustainable approaches to urban design. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Senator Javier Souto, and Miami-Dade County Manager George Burgess will give opening remarks and Clerk of Courts Harvey Ruvin will preside.

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
After a two-year process that began at the first Great Park Summit in 2006, the new Park and Open Space System Master Plan for Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation is complete and will be one of the topics discussed at the 2008 Great Park Summit at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden on Friday, March 14, 2008 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The new Park and Open Space System Master Plan is a policy framework and visionary document that will guide development and stewardship of parks and conservation open space into the 21st century.  The Master Plan envisions connecting communities through a system of parks, public spaces, natural and cultural areas, greenways, waterways and streets. These connections will form a green framework that will enhance the overall quality of life for residents and visitors, preserve and protect parks and open space, and achieve a strong position in the local economy.

The one-day Great Park Summit will feature presentations by national leaders in the park and open space profession.  Speakers will include Enrique Peñalosa, former Mayor of Bogota, Colombia, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Visiting Scholar at New York University and currently London School of Economics’ Urban Age Program; Dave Barth, Vice President of Glatting, Jackson, Kercher, Anglin, Inc. and Consultant to Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department; Robert Garcia, Executive Director and Counsel of The City Project, the Urban Park Movement: Equal Justice, Democracy and Livability in Los Angeles, CA.

A panel discussion on Parks as Catalysts for Economic, Social and Environmental Sustainability will take place in the afternoon with moderator Mary Eysenback, Director of Conservatories for the Chicago Park District; and panelists Timothy J. Gilfoyle, Historian and Author of Millenium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark; Cynthia Girling, Landscape Architect and Author of Skinny Streets and Green Neighborhoods: Design for Environment and Community; and Joseph Webb, Senior Planner, Glatting, Jackson, Kercher, Anglin, Inc. and Consulting Project Manager for the Miami-Dade County Park and Open Space System Master Plan.

Attending the Summit will be elected officials, staff from inter-intra-governmental agencies (including federal, regional and local), representatives of environmental organizations, national, state and municipal parks, community leaders professional organizations, educational institutions, museum administrators, school board officials and anyone interested in parks and conservation open space.

The 2008 Great Park Summit is free but space is limited.  For more information about the Open Space Master Plan and how you can attend the Great Park Summit 2008, please contact Diana Cornely at or 305-755-7907.  The deadline to RSVP is Monday, March 10. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road in Miami.

The previous Open Space Master Plan, created in 1969 by Miami-Dade Parks’ first director A.D. Barnes, has guided the County’s Park and Recreation Department in developing one of the largest and most diverse park systems in the nation, a system that now totals over 12,000 acres and includes more than 250 sites.  Miami-Dade Park and Recreation has been recognized as a leader in the nation in providing recreational programs to a large, diverse community.  The new Open Space Master Plan will continue where the previous one leaves off, guiding future park development and stewardship for the next 50 years. 

Miami-Dade Parks creates outstanding recreational, natural and cultural experiences to enrich you and to enhance our community for this and future generations.


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Hickman Building
275 N.-W 2nd Street, 5th Floor Miami, Florida 33128
(305) 755-7800


It is the policy of Miami Dade County to comply with all of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The facility is accessible. For sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices or materials in accessible format, please call 305-755-7848 at least five days in advance.