Park Pride Parks and Greenspace Conference

Program


Parks & Play: A Conversation for All Ages Program

Quick Links
Morning Plenaries
Morning Breakouts
Mid-Day Plenaries
Afternoon Breakouts
Closing Plenaries

Welcome & Opening Plenary Session

Playability: Reimagining Cities with Kids in Mind
Featured Speaker: James Siegal, CEO, KaBOOM!

Play is critical to the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and creative development of kids, but play is on the decline. As a result, many kids today are unhealthy, unhappy and falling behind academically. KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal will explore why cities need to create kid-friendly public space - at the park and beyond - in order to give kids the play-filled childhood they deserve.

Empowering Parks for the Future
Keynote Speaker: Barbara Tulipane, President and CEO, National Park and Recreation Association (NRPA)

While the demographic make-up of America is ever changing, one thing remains constant: the importance of parks and play. Because of the countless benefits that parks provide - opportunities for forging deep connections with nature and creating life-long healthy habits, for example - it is vital that the parks of today meet needs of all Americans and that all Americans have access to their benefits. Barbara Tulipane will discuss how the NRPA is addressing the challenges of a diversifying American population and what that means for the future of parks and recreation.

Morning Breakout Sessions

•    Hard Hat Tour* of the Children's Garden
Location: Day Hall
Speakers: Art Fix, Chief Operating Officer, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Tracy McClendon,Vice President of Programs, Atlanta Botanical Garden

The Children's Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden combines plant education with fun! Hear the research that informed the garden's renovation and the design decisions meant to delight garden goers of all ages. As a bonus, attendees will enjoy a behind-the-scenes hard hat tour of the Children's Garden, scheduled to open in Summer 2016. *Due to the limited number of hard hats available, attendees participating in the tour portion of this session must have pre-registered.

•   Pure Play: How Open-Ended Spaces Spark Interaction and Imagination
Location: Mershon Hall
Speakers: Élise Cormier, Principal, Smart Landscapes
Julia Jamrozik, Assistant Professor at University at Buffalo

From the perspective of architecture and landscape architecture, Julia Jamrozik and Élise Cormier make the case that open-ended spaces elevate engagement of all ages and abilities in recreation and play. From a theory-based perspective, Jamrozik celebrates the non-prescriptive nature of playspaces, ranging from "found conditions" of adventure playgrounds to the creative abstraction of historical and contemporary designs. Cormier will illustrate these theories through the case study of LaFayette, Alabama, a small town investing in city-wide recreation resources to increase the quality of life of residents.

•   Breaking the Color Barrier in the Great Outdoors
Location: Georgia Pacific Classroom
Moderator: Evonne Blythers, Environmental Education Coordinator, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance
Panel: Carolyn Hartfield, Founder, Older People with Active Lifestyles
Stefan Moss, Educator, Outdoor Afro
Wandi Steward, Hikes/Outings Leader, Keeping It Wild

Come hear from three local nonprofit leaders as they share their insight for providing rewarding outdoor experiences for diverse populations of varying age, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Panelists will also discuss how leveraging partnerships increases people's access to nature, resulting in a greater activation of parks.

•   Citizen Driven Playful Partnerships
Location: Hardin Visitor Center
Moderator: Angela Hill, Recreation Programs Manager, City of Memphis, Division of Parks and Neighborhoods
Panel: Rich Alvarez, Friends of Peachtree Hills Park
Rochelle Callender, Friends of Flat Shoals Park
John Ritger, Friends of Perkerson Park

Organized sports can present unique challenges and opportunities for parks. A panel of park enthusiasts will discuss how play was a catalyst for change in their neighborhood parks; softball and flag football at Peachtree Hills Park, tennis at Flat Shoals Park, and disk golf in Perkerson Park. These case studies demonstrate how the positive activation of parks through play builds and strengthens communities.

•   Atlanta: Designing the Country's Most Playful City [1]   [2]   [3]
Location: Turner Theater at Hardin Visitor Center
Speakers: Cynthia Gentry, Founding Director, Play Atlanta
Jodi Lox Mansbach, Principal, Urban Design Matters
Jamie Simone, Program Director, Chicago Urban Parks Program, The Trust for Public Land

Cities around the world are incorporating play into parks and urban spaces in innovative ways. In this session, learn about the challenges of the growing density of urban environments and how playful design increases a city's livability for all.

•   Play: Beyond the Four Walls (Morning Session)
Location: Lower access to Mershon Hall
Speakers: Kevin Banks, City of Atlanta, Office of Recreation
Jada Berry, City of Atlanta, Office of Recreation
John Bryant, City of Atlanta, Office of Recreation
LaChandra Butler-Burks, Executive Director, City of Atlanta, Office of Recreation
Corliss Davenport, Program / Project Manager, City of Atlanta, Office of Recreation
Tahira Wilson, Recreation Program Supervisor, City of Atlanta, Office of Recreation

Many elementary school-aged children suffer from a lack of structured, active outdoor play. How are parks and recreation agencies expected to answer the "call"? This session will introduce you to two programs designed and implemented by City of Atlanta's Office of Recreation - Kids@Play and Play Mobile - that have brought recreation beyond the four walls of recreation centers. Learn how these programs have cultivated a safe and interactive atmosphere that encourages intergenerational play and gets people outside.

Mid-Day Plenary Session

Inspiration Awards
Presenters: Commissioner Amy Phuong, City of Atlanta, Department of Parks and Recreation
Director Roy Wilson, DeKalb County, Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs

Start With Building
Keynote Speaker: Alex Gilliam, Founder, Public Workshop

Children discover the world around them by banging, building and knocking down things. If this is the fundamental way we learn to explore our environment, why is it that as we grow older, building "ends"? Alex Gilliam shares his insights about the incredible things that can happen when design and community planning processes 'start with building', and when youth take the lead with sledgehammers and circular saws.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

•   Playful Spaces as Catalysts for Urban Transformation
Location: Mershon Hall
Moderator: Candace Damon, Partner, HR&A Advisors
Panel: Carrie Sagel Burns, President, Castleberry Hill Neighborhood Association
Connie Chung, Director, HR&A Advisors
Ken Edelstein, President, Candler Park Neighborhood Organization
James Siegal, CEO, KaBOOM!

Playful programming bridges the gaps between diverse communities and catalyzes the reinvention of neighborhood identities. Highlighting local examples from Castleberry Hill and Candler Park in addition to national examples from cities such as Boston and Phoenix, this panel will explore the economic and community benefits - as well as the challenges - of implementing playful programming that is cross-culturally and intergenerationally engaging.

•   All Ages. All Abilities. All the Time.
Location: Georgia-Pacific Classroom
Speakers: Ingrid M. Kanics, Occupational Therapist
John McConkey, Market Insights and Research Manager, Landscape Structures

Park designers face the challenge of creating environments where all visitors can feel safe, secure and fully engaged in play. In this presentation, attendees will discover how the principles of "universal design" contribute to creating parks where everyone can play, regardless of age or ability.

•   How to Make Your Vision of Play a Reality
Location: Hardin Visitor Center
Moderator: Daniel Calvert, Urban Planner, City of Atlanta, Office of Park Design
Panel: Judy Hammock, Friends of Lake Claire Park
Kimberly Kleiber, Friends of Ormond-Grant Park
Veronica Squires, Friends of Reverend James Orange Park

Using several local case studies, this Friends of the Park panel will share their successful strategies that lead to the development of playful parks for visitors of all ages, from community engagement, negotiation and consensus building to fundraising and leveraging dollars, and much more. Apply their tactics to your own greenspace to bring your park vision to life!

•   Play Themed Parks [1]   [2]   [3]
Location: Turner Theater at Hardin Visitor Center
Moderator: Walt Ray, Assistant Director, City of Atlanta, Office of Park Design
Panel: Linda Bain, retired Executive Director, Sandy Springs Conservancy
Andrea Bozarth, Associate State Director, AARP Kansas
Rosa McHugh, Executive Director, Chastain Park Conservancy

Play takes many forms. This panel of park leaders, representing three very unique and playful park spaces, will discuss their ambitious plans and processes that led to the creation of PLAY Chastain - Chastain Park's new 40,000 square foot playground - Abernathy Greenway's Playable Art Park, and Wichita's Grandparents Park.

•   Play WORKS!
Location: Meet at the Chihuly sculpture in the Levy Parterre
Speaker: Danyel Crutcher, Georgia Program Manager and Certified Trainer, Playworks

Playworks is a national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children's social and emotional health at school. Participants will learn about the physical, academic, social and emotional benefits of play and best practices for incorporating healthy play into programming at parks and recreation centers. This session will involve light running, plenty of laughter and countless take-aways!

•   Play: Beyond the Four Walls (Afternoon Session)
Location: Lower access to Mershon Hall
Speakers: Kevin Banks, City of Atlanta, Office of Recreation
Jada Berry, City of Atlanta, Office of Recreation
John Bryant, City of Atlanta, Office of Recreation
LaChandra Butler-Burks, Executive Director, City of Atlanta, Office of Recreation
Corliss Davenport, Program / Project Manager, City of Atlanta, Office of Recreation
Tahira Wilson, Recreation Program Supervisor, City of Atlanta, Office of Recreation

Many elementary school-aged children suffer from a lack of structured, active outdoor play. How are parks and recreation agencies expected to answer the "call"? This session will introduce you to two programs designed and implemented by City of Atlanta's Office of Recreation - Kids@Play and Play Mobile - that have brought recreation beyond the four walls of recreation centers. Learn how these programs have cultivated a safe and interactive atmosphere that encourages intergenerational play and gets people outside.

Closing Plenary Session & Remarks

PechaKucha: Get Out of the Way and Let the Children Play
Featured Speaker: Cynthia Gentry, Founding Director, Play Atlanta

There is a bounty of structured, adult-led play, but the real benefits of play come when it is child led and intrinsically motivated. Using the popular, fast-paced Japanese style of presentation - the PechaKucha, 20 slides with 20 seconds per slide - Atlanta's local play expert will share her thoughts on the importance of play and why it is vital for healthy child-development.

Greening Childhood by Design: A Neighborhood Park Imperative
Keynote Speaker: Robin C. Moore, Director, The Natural Learning Initiative

Children need to be enticed outdoors for their good health. Equally, the natural world needs their engagement for its continuing health. Robin Moore will highlight several public spaces designed to provide experiences that produce nature-loving, conservation-minded citizens, support healthy people and foster a healthy planet.

PechaKucha: Creative Play and the Lovability of Public Space
Featured Speaker: Chantelle Rytter, Community Parade Artist

"When we lay down joyful shared memories in a place, it is a blessing on that place." Civic play traditions can serve as powerful creative place-making, connecting people to people and people to place. Using the popular, fast-paced Japanese style of presentation - the PechaKucha, 20 slides with 20 seconds per slide - Chantelle Rytter will talk about the rise of the Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade and other examples of civic play.