Seattle’s Parks in the National Spotlight at Greater & Greener

Seattle’s Parks in the National Spotlight at Greater & Greener

Seattle’s Parks in the National Spotlight, Showcasing Parks as Critical Urban Infrastructure that Support Climate Resiliency, Equity, and Well-Being

2024 Greater & Greener Conference – June 22-25
bringing more than 1,000 urban park professionals to Seattle

June 20, 2024 (Seattle, WA) – Climate resiliency, equity, well-being, and more are on the minds of more than 1,000 urban park professionals arriving in Seattle for the sold-out Greater & Greener conference. Seattle will serve as a hands-on classroom during four days of interactive learning, highlighting Seattle’s leadership and innovation in the parks and recreation sector. The conference brings together urban park leaders, city planners, design professionals, advocates, and funders from around the world to discuss the critical role of parks in building equitable, vibrant, and resilient cities.

Greater & Greener will showcase the creative ways urban parks are critical to helping cities address their most urgent social, environmental, and economic challenges. Greater & Greener 2024 is presented by City Parks Alliance in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation. Additional supporting partners include the Associated Recreation Council, Friends of Waterfront Seattle, and the Seattle Park Foundation.

Seattle was chosen to host Greater & Greener 2024 through a competitive process and selected for its deep commitment to diversity and inclusion and its leadership in climate resilience. The City is a national & international model for park systems with historic Olmsted firm-designed parks which are enhanced through new green and blue connections to surrounding counties and neighboring cities. The City’s transformational Waterfront Seattle project also serves as a model for park infrastructure.

“Seattle’s world-class parks system is one of our greatest assets for building healthy communities and strong neighborhoods,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “Our vision for a transformed Waterfront Park continues to make exciting progress to reconnect downtown neighborhoods to the natural beauty of our region while also taking steps to improve marine ecosystems. We are excited to host the Greater & Greener conference, bringing together urban park professionals and leaders from around the country to learn from each other and ensure our parks remain equity drivers to enhance the quality of life in urban areas.”

“Seattle’s park system is a national model, and we’re thrilled to partner with Seattle Parks and Recreation to host Greater & Greener. The conference program is a powerful collection of real-world stories, providing a snapshot of the state of the urban parks field today. We’re using Seattle as a hands-on learning lab, exploring how urban park systems are critical infrastructure for equitable, resilient, and thriving cities,” said City Parks Alliance Executive Director Catherine Nagel. 

It brings me great joy to extend a warm welcome to over 1,000 urban park experts to Seattle for hands-on education and discovery. Our remarkable 500 + urban park system is vital in promoting climate resilience and an equitable and lively city. Parks serve as essential hubs for our neighbors to connect and are shining examples of strength, sustainability, and well-being in our community. Seattle, with its renowned Olmsted designed parks, is a distinguished leader on a national and global scale; the only U.S. City designated by the United Nations for urban forest regeneration and environmental sustainability – making it the ideal host to demonstrate how urban parks support the health of people, the environment, and the community as a whole,” said AP Diaz, Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation. 

In addition to dozens of interactive workshops and tours throughout the city, attendees will hear from high-profile speakers including Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome, the Federal Chief Environmental Justice Officer at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Jacqueline Lu, the President & Co-Founder, Helpful Places. Their keynote remarks are scheduled for on Monday, June 24 beginning at 8:30 a.m. (All events, unless otherwise noted, will be held at the Westin Seattle.)

On Tuesday, June 25, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell will join mayors from across the country for the Mayors Forum (Tuesday, June 25, 11:30am-1:30pm) to share their perspectives about the role of parks in city building. Mayor Harrell will be joined by Bellevue (WA) Mayor Lynne Robinson, and Raleigh (NC) Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin.

Also, on Tuesday, June 25, business leaders will join for a plenary conversation on Private Sector Roles in Creating More Equitable Park Systems, (8:30am – 9:30am). The session features moderator Sally Jewell, Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior, and panelists Shannon Loew (Amazon), Maya Mendoza-Exstrom (Seattle Sounders FC), Mari Horita (Seattle Kraken), and Marc Berejka (REI Co-Op).

Conference attendees are also giving back to the City of Seattle. At the Volunteer Service Day, volunteers will help with the renovation of the play area and other maintenance-related projects at T.T Minor Park on Sunday, June 23 from 9:30am – 2pm. 

Greater & Greener sponsors and supporters include Amazon, Barr Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Landscape Structures, Inc., The Speedwell Foundation, The Toro Company, William Penn Foundation, Hyde Family Foundation, REI Co-op and others.

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NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, all events will be held at the Westin Seattle, the conference hub.

NOTE: Greater & Greener 2024 is sold out. Members of the media must adhere to the conference media policy and obtain media credentials to access conference events.

 

To obtain credentials or for more information, contact:

City Parks Alliance: Jennifer Caddick, [email protected], (315) 767-2802

Seattle Parks & Recreation: Rachel Schulkin, [email protected], PHONE

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