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Laura Phillips
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County's sixth Great Park Summit celebrates new ideas and milestones for enhancing Miami-Dade's open spaces

MIAMI (April 19, 2016)

A record-breaking crowd of 340 plus parks supporters, including local leaders and citizen interest groups, took part in Miami-Dade County Parks' 2016 Great Park Summit on Friday, April 15, 2016 at Miami-Dade College-Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami, hosted by The Parks Foundation and made possible, in part, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Participants engaged in discussions that were centered on the themed “The Power of Parks,” sharing their innovations, best practices and achievements to enhance Miami-Dade through great parks, open spaces and greenways.

This year’s Summit also celebrated several historic markers – the 100th anniversary of the National Parks System, the 86th anniversary of Miami-Dade Parks and a decade of Open Space Master Plan achievements.

Compelling internationally-recognized speakers led interactive discussions, encouraging everyone to give their  best ‘outside-of-the-box’ ideas, focusing on Parks’ three pillars: Placemaking, Conservation, and Health and Fitness and Neat Streets Miami/ Million Trees Miami’ cleaning campaign and greening efforts.

Keynote speakers included: Juan Martinez, Director of Leadership Development and Natural Leaders Network at the Children & Nature Network (Los Angeles); Dr. Roderick K. King, MD, MPH, CEO of the Florida Institute for Health Innovation; Deborah Marton, Executive Director of New York Restoration Project (New York City); Gabe Klein, noted author and Special Venture Partner with Fontinalis Partners; Peter Kageyama, international-acclaimed author-expert on community development and grassroots engagement. 

Other notable speakers included 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.

In conjunction with the Summit, now on display through April 27, Parks at Our Door: Planning Miami Dade’s 21st Century Park System exhibit at the Miami Center for Architecture & Design in Miami. The installation focuses on the Miami-Dade Parks’ Open Space Master Plan and the potential for parks to provide an infrastructure that builds individual, community, and ecological resiliency and well-being. The exhibition 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.

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