News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
April 09, 2012

Media Contact:
Laura Phillips

2012 Great Park Summit to Focus on the Future of Miami-Dade County's Health, Wellness and Economy

Unique Red Fields to Green Fields Initiative to be Unveiled

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
The Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, in partnership with The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, will host the 2012 Great Park Summit presented by AvMed Health Plans, on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, in Coral Gables. 

The theme of this year's Summit is Partnerships Through Creative Initiatives: Red Fields to Green Fields -- a new and growing push to revitalize underutilized properties with parks as the catalyst for new, sustainable development.  The initiative is designed to create jobs, support property values and build a more vibrant South Florida.

Locally and nationally recognized speakers will discuss the importance of parks for improving the economy, environment and health of Miami-Dade County.  Keynote speakers will include, Greenville, South Carolina Mayor Knox White who will discuss The Falls, a public garden and falls unleashing a new wave of economic development in downtown Greenville; and Rick Little with Friends of the High Line, who will discuss the public park built on an historic freight rail above the streets on Manhattan's West Side.

"The previous three Great Park Summits created opportunities to foster a spirit of collaboration and coordination between local and out-of-state public and private entities with the goal of creating a seamless park system throughout Miami-Dade County.  Today, we're excited to unveil the ways that the Miami-Dade County Parks and Open Space Master Plan is improving the community's health and wellness, and our vision for how it will positively impact the local economy in the near future," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.
Discussions this year will include initiatives that are successfully underway in Miami-Dade to create a more vibrant community, including the leveraging of parks and open spaces; the implementation of the Morning Mile Program in Miami-Dade summer camps, made possible by AvMed Health Plans and Fitzness International; and how cities are working smarter through interconnection of data made possible by IBM.

"Innovative design, planning and stewardship of public space is what the Great Park Summit is all about," said Miami-Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys. "Together, in partnership with private and public sector partners and local municipalities, Miami-Dade County is working to create a seamless and sustainable parks system for this and future generations."
"AvMed is committed to the health and wellness of the communities where we live and work," said Ed Hannum, AvMed President & COO. "That's why we support this effort and other programs with a focus on healthy lifestyles. We applaud the important role parks play in creating greener, healthier more vibrant communities."

Held once every two years, the Great Park Summit is designed to further the implementation of the Parks and Open Space Master Plan (OSMP), a 50-year vision for connecting Miami-Dade County communities through parks, public spaces, natural and cultural areas, greenways, waterways, and streets.  The OSMP, approved by the Board of County Commissioners in 2008, is being implemented through policies which were adopted as part of the Recreation and Open Space Element of the Comprehensive Development Master Plan in 2010.  Several of the policies have been completed through funding from the Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant administered by the Miami-Dade Health Department and through partnerships with staff of the Sustainability, Planning and Economic Enhancement Department and Public Works and Waste Management Department. For more information, visit Parks Master Plan

Sponsors of the 2012 Great Park Summit include AvMed Health Plans, The Speedwell Foundation, IBM, Procter & Gamble Professional, Sonesta Bayfront Hotel - Coconut Grove, Whole Foods Market - Coral Gables, Rep Services, Inc., AECOM, Rosenberg Gardner Design, Gilly Vending, Starbucks, URS, AMEC, Health Foundation of South Florida, Atkins, Kimley-Horn and Associates, Vortex Aquatic Systems, Shade Systems Inc., United HomeCare, Just Energy and Wallace, Roberts and Todd Design(WRT).

The 2012 Great Park Summit is open to professionals from local and state agencies, landscape architects, planners, environmental organizations, patrons of arts, businesses, universities, construction, engineering, architecture and urban planning arenas; and is FREE to the public.  Seating is limited, and registration is required.  For more information, please contact Eric Hansen at (305) 755-5460. 

About the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award and winner of the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and more than 12,825 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more.  For information about Miami-Dade Parks call 3-1-1 or visit Miami-Dade Parks.

About The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade:
The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that supports the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department's effort to further develop Miami-Dade County's world-class parks system for residents and visitors.  Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.

About AvMed Health Plans:
AVMed has been providing health care coverage to Florida citizens and businesses for over 40 years, serving large and small employers in most major markets around the state. AvMed provides Medicare Advantage products in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, and Individual coverage in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. For more information, visit AvMed

To request material in accessible format, information on access for persons with disabilities, or sign language interpreter services (7 days in advance), call 305-755-7848.


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