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Noted national open space, transportation and beautification speakers slated for the "2016 Great Park Summit" on Friday, April 15

Residents invited to join the discussions and share ideas on "The Power of Parks," showcasing strategies for enhancing Miami-Dade County living.

MIAMI (April 01, 2016)

The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department in partnership with The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, will host the 2016 Great Park Summit presented by the CDC (Center for Disease Control), on Friday, April 15, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Miami-Dade College, Wolfson Campus, Chapman Conference Center, Room 3210, located at 300 N.E. 2nd Ave., downtown Miami. Residents are invited to register, attend and participate in the discussions with elected officials, civic leaders, health and wellness experts and environmental stewards. Advance registration is advised as seating is limited. Find conference details and register online here

The theme of the Summit is “The Power of Parks.” The interactive symposium will showcase strategies for enhancing Miami-Dade living through great parks, open spaces and greenways and the importance of having a seamless sustainable and safe parks and open space system that promotes health and wellness for all. National and local leaders will share ideas and best practices for parks and recreation in major markets throughout the U.S. and collect public feedback from Summit attendees.  

Expect a new vision for what Miami can be. Plus, hear from compelling speakers who will get everyone thinking ‘outside-of-the-box’ in discussions that focus on the three pillars of Parks: Placemaking, Conservation, and Health and Fitness; the progress of the cleaning and greening efforts of Neat Streets Miami and the Million Trees Miami campaign, and so much more.

This year celebrates several historic markers — The 100th anniversary of the National Parks System, the 86th anniversary of Miami-Dade Parks, and a decade of great progress for the county’s Open Space Master Plan since the first Great Park Summit was held in 2006. 

In conjunction with the Summit, on April 12th, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Miami Center for Architecture & Design (MCAD), located 100 NE First Ave., Miami, Miami-Dade Parks’ chief of planning and research, Maria Nardi, will host the kick-off reception for the special gallery exhibition titled “Parks at Our Door: Planning Miami Dade’s 21st Century Park System.” The installation will focus on the Miami-Dade Parks and Open Space Master Plan, which addresses the interconnectedness of life, and the potential for parks to provide an infrastructure that builds individual, community, and ecological resiliency and well-being. The resulting exhibition, running through April 27th, encompasses drawings that illustrate a shared vision for an integrated system of great parks and public spaces, natural and cultural areas, all linked across the region through greenways, waterways, complete streets and sidewalks.

Featured topics & speakers for the 2016 Great Park Summit: 

Topic 1: People -- “Experience Parks Differently” 

Speaker Juan Martinez 

Joining the Summit from Los Angeles, Juan Martinez is known for his role as Director of Leadership Development and Natural Leaders Network at the Children & Nature Network. He will lead a session on grassroots campaigns that empower, explore, and create positive change. 

Topic 2: Health and Wellness “Parks and Health: Making the Connection”

Speaker Dr. Roderick K. King, MD, MPH 

As CEO of the Florida Institute for Health Innovation, Dr. King brings expertise and a national perspective of the critical role open space plays in our life spectrum. 

Topic 3: Trees – “A Million Trees Planted!”

Speaker Deborah Marton 

In her role as Executive Director of New York Restoration Project, Deborah Marton manages efforts to transform open spaces in underserved communities, creating a greener, more sustainable New York City.

Topic 4: Connectivity -- “Spending vs. Investing: Why Great Places = Competitive Communities"

Speaker Gabe Klein 

A noted author and Special Venture Partner with Fontinalis Partners, Gabe Klein will speak about entrepreneurial public leadership and positioning transportation as a transformative public investment.

Topic 5: Passion – “Get Ready to Fall In Love With Your City!”

Speaker Peter Kageyama 

Author Peter Kageyama will speak about his books “For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places” and the follow up, “Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places.”  

Additional topics will include Resiliency, Health and the Built Environment, the Public Space Challenge, Conservation and Stewardship, Economic Impact, Mobility, and more.

Other notable speakers will include the Honorable Dennis Moss, Commissioner, Miami-Dade County and Neat Streets Miami Chairman; Joanna Lombard, Professor, University of Miami School of Architecture; Leo Alvarez, Design Principal, Perkins+Will; Tony Cho, Founder & CEO, Metro 1;Greg Guannel, Urban Conservation Director, The Nature Conservancy; and Stuart Kennedy, Director of Program Strategy and Innovation, The Miami Foundation.

Sponsors of the 2016 Great Park Summit: 

Signature Sponsor – Centers for Disease Control

Premier Sponsor - Knight Foundation

Leadership Sponsor - Miami Marlins

Silver Sponsors - Amec Foster Wheeler; AvMed; Carlton Fields, P.A.; Jose Milton Foundation United Property Management; Kaufman, Rossin & Co.; Robert M. Levy &  Associates; The Miami Foundation; and Wells Fargo.  

Miami-Dade Parks is supported by the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade and focused on Placemaking, Health and Fitness, and Conservation and Stewardship.