Gathering for the Greener Good

Parks & Greenspace Conference

Monday, March 25, 2019 | 8:30 A.M. - 5 P.M.

Each spring, Park Pride hosts the annual Parks & Greenspace Conference, the largest parks conference in the southeast, showcasing thought leaders from Atlanta and across the nation. Through education and inspiration, the conference focuses on best practices for companies and individuals who are united by a common desire to improve parks and strengthen communities.

2019 Theme

The 2019 conference focuses on the relationship between parks and communities. Great parks, public greenspaces, trails, and waterways serve as the heart of our communities and are the foundation upon which communities grow and thrive.

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 communities through discussions pertaining to:

  • Arts + culture
  • All ages + all abilities
  • Health
  • Equity + inclusion
  • Community engagement
  • Community planning + development
  • Revitalization of community + environment

Who Should Attend

The Parks & Greenspace Conference offers something for everyone!

  • Parks & recreation professionals
  • Government policy makers
  • Architects & landscape architects
  • Urban planners
  • Citizens who want to build or improve a neighborhood park
  • Environmental & civil engineers
  • Real estate developers
  • Environmental lawyers
  • Anyone who loves parks!


Call for Presentations

You’re invited to share your knowledge, expertise, and experience at the 18th Annual Parks and Greenspace Conference, themed “Parks are the Heart of Community.” Please carefully review the information below and submit your presentation or tour proposal through the form.  Once you begin the submission process, you may save your application and return to it at a later date.

Submissions are due Monday, October 15 by 5 p.m.

For questions pertaining to the conference or your proposal submission,
please contact Park Pride at

About Breakout Sessions

  • Breakout sessions are 60 minutes in length.
  • Breakout sessions can be lecture-style presentations, panel discussions, or hands-on workshops.
  • Panel discussions should include no more than two or three panelists plus a moderator.
  • 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 and/or tours will be held on Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24.
  • The format, time, and location should be proposed by the applicant.
  • Park Pride and the conference committee will offer assistance in planning and advertising if the proposed pre-conference event/tour is selected.

Target Audience

Park Pride’s annual conference attracts a wide cohort of approximately 500 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.

Consider the following three audience types when developing presentations and target proposals as appropriate:

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

Topics of Interest

Sessions and tours may focus on one or more of the following areas including, but not limited to:

  • Parks and the Arts

When we think of art in parks, images of large-scale public artworks often come to mind, but parks also have the capacity to provide communities with a canvas—or a stage—for creating, learning and experiencing the arts. Participation in the arts has multiple benefits for individuals and for society. How can we prioritize, facilitate, and encourage sustained investment in the arts within public parks? How can arts initiatives remain community-driven and expressive of each neighborhood’s creative imagination?

  • Parks and Cultural Identity

Celebrating where we come from, exploring our histories, and maintaining memories and traditions are building blocks for rich, socially connected neighborhoods. How can parks support cultural expression? How can parks increase neighborhood cohesion? As cities and regions grow and become increasing multi-cultural, how can parks provide neighborhood—and citywide—venues that showcase the rich and varied cultural identities of its residents?

  • Parks and Health

Multiple studies, as well as our daily experiences, demonstrate that access to green space and nature increases our physical, emotional, and intellectual well-being. Healthcare providers, recognizing these benefits, are even prescribing time spent in parks. What characteristics do these parks-as-wonder-drugs have? How can programming and partnerships encourage the use of parks to achieve healthier, safer communities?

  • Parks and Equity

For parks to provide the benefits offered by the arts, cultural expression, recreation and healthy places to experience nature, they must be welcoming and safe for all communities, all ages and all abilities. What needs to happen to achieve equity in the design, creation, maintenance and programming of our public parks? What strategies will ensure that parks support existing neighborhoods and the aspirations of the community as a whole?

Submission Instructions

  • Presentation and pre-conference tour proposals are accepted through the online form below.
  • Although you may save and return to your work, it is recommended that you gather your submission information in a single Word document, and then copy / paste your responses into the form blocks. Save your Word document until you’ve received confirmation that your submission has been received. Submission information includes:
    • Your name, email, and phone number
    • Type of submission (breakout session lecture, breakout session panel, hands-on workshop, pre-conference event / tour)
    • Title of presentation or event
    • Description of presentation or event (800 character limit)
    • What do you hope / expect participants to learn in your presentation / event? Please include how your session relates to the theme.
    • Any additional information you’d like to provide? Please include a description of any additional uploaded files.
  • You will have the option to upload additional supporting documents.



Submissions are due Monday, October 15 by 5 p.m.

For questions pertaining to the conference or your proposal submission,
please contact Park Pride at

  • All accepted presenters receive one complimentary ticket to the 18th 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 and to change and/or edit session titles and descriptions.. 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

Become a Sponsor

This event is a unique opportunity to market your business to elected officials, community leaders, and park advocates from across the region. Sponsorship levels for the 2019 conference are available for every budget.

Reach out to Jane Zoellick, Development Manager, to learn more!