Caryn Ernst

Director of Strategic Initiatives
Caryn Ernst

As director of strategic initiatives, Caryn Ernst is developing the City Park Alliance’s city workshops, designed to strengthen and expand cross-sector park partnerships. Caryn has developed case studies, role plays, and core curriculum for the workshops which she has implemented in Detroit, Flint, Birmingham, Saint Paul, San Jose, Kansas City, and Boston, among others.

In addition to workshops, Caryn is responsible for CPA’s other programs designed to build member capacity and connections, including park study tours, webinars, and peer-to-peer convenings. She is also responsible for Greater & Greener program content – developing themes, identifying speakers, and curating sessions.

From 2009 to 2017, Caryn worked as an independent consultant with expertise in cross-sector partnerships, nonprofit board development and leadership, strategic planning, citizen engagement, consensus building, and workshop planning. Clients included KaBOOM!, Oregon Health and Sciences University, American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts, City Parks Alliance, and Trust for Public Land, among others.

Prior to her work as a consultant, Caryn worked for the Trust for Public Land as director of conservation vision services where she spent 10 years managing cross-sector city, regional, and watershed-wide conservation and park planning efforts around the U.S. Before joining TPL, Caryn worked for the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Policy Council.

Caryn has a Master in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University.

Caryn’s favorite park is Congressional Cemetery where she walks her dog every day and enjoys the history, stories, people and fun events, such as movie nights, yoga, chamber concerts, and a running club.