Gathering for the Greener Good

Parks & Greenspace Conference

Monday, March 26, 2018 | 9 A.M. - 5 P.M.

Each spring, Park Pride hosts the annual Parks & Greenspace Conference, the largest parks conference in the southeast, to explore a selected theme about parks and greenspaces. It is a wonderful environment for networking with elected officials, community leaders, and park advocates who are driven to improve parks and strengthen communities.

2018 Overview


Urban Resilience

The capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.

The 17th Annual Parks & Greenspace Conference, Parks & the Resilient City, will focus on parks and their relationship to urban resilience. Join us as we explore how a robust park system contributes to the overall resilience of a city and learn ways to make our park systems more resilient in the face of a growing population and economic uncertainty.

Connect to the Theme

The conference program, consisting of tours and lectures led by both local and national experts, will examine the relationship between parks and urban resilience through discussions pertaining to:

  • Planning for resilient parks
  • Parks and community resilience
  • Parks and the resilience of the built environment
  • Parks and ecological resilience

Who Should Attend

The Parks & Greenspace Conference offers something for everyone!

  • Parks & recreation professionals
  • Policy makers
  • Architects & landscape architects
  • Urban planners
  • Community members
  • Environmental & civil engineers
  • Real estate developers
  • Environmental lawyers
  • Anyone who loves parks!


Call for Presentations

Submission Deadline: Monday, November 6

Park Pride is accepting presentation and pre-conference event proposals for the Annual Parks & Greenspace Conference on the conference theme, “Parks & the Resilient City.” Please review the information below before submitting a presentation proposal. Once you begin the submission process, you may save your application and return to it at a later date.

Submissions received after November 6th will not be considered for inclusion in the conference program.

About Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions are 75 minutes in length and offer lecture-style presentations, panel discussions, or hands-on workshops. Presenters are encouraged to budget at least 10 minutes for questions and answers with participants. Approximately 8-12 proposals will be accepted for the breakout session presentations. Similar or complementary presentations may be combined into panels for a more diverse dialog.

About Pre-Conference Tours

Pre-conference events are on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25. The format, time and location should be decided by the organizer. Park Pride and the conference committee will help with planning and advertising if tour is selected.

Target Audience

Park Pride’s annual conference attracts a wide cohort of approximately 450 attendees comprised of community leaders, park professionals, park advocates, landscape architects, nature center administrators, urban designers, developers, real estate professionals, planners, policymakers, elected officials, and advocates from the southeast. Diverse organizations are represented, including the Georgia Recreation and Park Association, the American Planning Association, the Urban Land Institute, Congress for New Urbanism, the American Society of Landscape Architects, city departments and federal agencies.

Potential presenters may find it helpful to think of the following three audience types when developing their presentations and target their proposal as appropriate:

  • Park Advocate/Community Member
  • Policy Makers/Municipality
  • Design Professionals/Planners

Topics of Interest

Successful proposals will explore the issue of resiliency through the lens of parks, park design, park funding and park policy. Sessions and tours may focus on areas including, but not limited to:

  • Planning for Resilient Parks

As we create new parks, are we planning through a resilience lens? How are we optimizing our existing network of parks, greenspaces and trails to withstand and recover from disruptive events as well as more gradual changes (e.g. flooding events versus increased use associated with population growth)? How can urban parks be designed to address the stresses of a changing climate? How do we ensure a funding stream for parks that withstands economic downturns and supports a city’s increasing need for great parks as it grows?

  • Parks and Community Resilience

How can we strengthen parks’ role in creating resilient communities? What role do parks play in shaping and enhancing a neighborhood’s identity? How do well-activated and maintained parks deter crime and increase neighborhood cohesion? As our city and region grow, how do we plan for welcoming parks as a part of inclusive communities?

  • Parks and the Resilience of the Built Environment

How can we maximize parks’ impact on reducing the urban heat island effect? In what ways can parks, greenspaces and trails help to alleviate the stresses of increased urban density? How can parks create resilient cities by reducing the effects of flooding and drought through rain gardens, bioswales and other green infrastructure? What role do parks play in creating sustainable cities?

  • Parks and Ecological Resilience

How can parks support urban ecosystems that are stressed or compromised? How can pollinator gardens and animal habitats in parks enhance the natural world around us? How can we maximize the role trails play not just as transportation corridors for walking, biking and transit, but also as natural corridors that support the ecology of our city?

Submission & Selection Process


Submissions are due Monday, November 6, 2017 by 5 p.m.

  • All accepted presenters receive one complimentary ticket to the 17th Annual Parks and Greenspace Conference.
  • Submission of a session represents an agreement to attend and present the proposed session if it is accepted.
  • Any changes to speakers or content requires permission from the Park Pride staff and could jeopardize the selected presenter’s status in the conference.


Selection Process:

Submissions are reviewed and selected by Park Pride’s Parks and Greenspace Conference Committee, which is comprised of board members, staff and volunteers. You may be asked for further clarification and details on your proposal. Presentations should not have a commercial message for an organization or business, or be perceived as a “sales pitch.” Park Pride reserves the right to reject proposals. We evaluate proposals for the conference by the following criteria:

  • Appropriateness of topic for the conference theme
  • Contribution to knowledge of the session topic
  • Interest, applicability, innovation
  • Diversity of groups / organizations represented on panel and breadth of presentation appeal


For questions pertaining to the conference or your proposal submission, please contact Park Pride at Park Pride reserves the right to change and/or edit session titles and descriptions.



Early bird registration for the 17th Annual Parks and Greenspace Conference is OPEN.

Register today for just $135.

early bird registration is limited to the first 75 registrants.