Great Urban Parks Campaign

Recorded On: 03/15/2018

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NRPA, in collaboration with the American Planning Association (APA), created the Great Urban Parks Campaign to improve environmental and social outcomes in underserved communities through promoting and advancing green infrastructure stormwater management projects within parks. Green infrastructure uses natural processes to slow the flow of and filter water to protect and restore clean and healthy waterways. Additionally, it is an efficient way to increase community resilience by addressing stormwater runoff, reducing localized flooding, and increasing biodiversity and wildlife habitat while simultaneously providing communities increased access to recreational opportunities and to nature

This subscription provides you instant access to all previous and upcoming webinars related to this important campaign. 

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Solving Difficult Problems in Green Infrastructure Webinar
Solving Difficult Problems in Green Infrastructure Webinar
08/23/2018 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
08/23/2018 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes Green infrastructure project sponsors are sometimes confronted with seemingly intractable problems that have no good solutions. Such problems seem to be more likely if projects are innovative or involve public/private partnerships. Challenges can include unexpected and unrealistic requirements for liability insurance; contractual clauses that state the government agency partner can demolish your project for any cause and then require you to build it back at your cost; requirements that private sector non-profits meet government procurement regulations and other problems that can make you shake your head in disbelief. This webinar tackles the really difficult kinds of problems that might crop up in GI projects and shows how, with ingenuity and diligence, every problem can be solved. If you are working on green infrastructure projects with governmental or non-profit partners, you won’t want to miss this interesting webinar that provides valuable guidance on solving the toughest problems.
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Great Urban Parks Campaign 2018 Grant Webinar
Great Urban Parks Campaign Grant Webinar
07/09/2018 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
07/09/2018 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes Want to implement green stormwater infrastructure as a climate resiliency strategy in your community? Join NRPA to learn more about this exciting grant opportunity! The 2018 Great Urban Parks Campaign grant will support green stormwater infrastructure projects in underserved communities that: (1) Improve environmental quality including: enhanced water quality, increased climate resiliency through reduced flooding, improved ability of the site to hold and retain stormwater, improved and increased green space and wildlife habitat. (2) Increase access to high quality park and recreation space within underserved communities, and increased access to related recreation, environmental education and green job opportunities. (3) Create an engage community empowered to improve local environmental quality through green infrastructure solutions. The webinar will discuss goals of the grant, eligibility, application deadlines and answer any questions you may have!
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New Resources for Green Infrastructure Stormwater Management in Parks
New Resources for Green Infrastructure Stormwater Management in Parks
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Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin playback. NRPA in collaboration with the American Planning Association (APA) and the Low Impact Development Center (LIDC) has produced a new suite of resources on green infrastructure stormwater management in parks. This webinar will focus on key recommendations and findings on how to envision, plan, finance, and implement green stormwater management projects in parks and other public lands, especially projects that are designed to benefit underserved communities. The webinar will highlight how to manage an effective and thorough community engagement process. If you are contemplating a green infrastructure project in parks or on other public land, this webinar and the new resources will be invaluable to you. This is another in the series of webinars of the Great Urban Parks Campaign.
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Tools for Trees: Better Stormwater Management and Livability
Tools for Trees: Better Stormwater Management and Livability
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Open to view video. Trees can provide multiple benefits in the landscape especially when utilized in new and retrofitted stormwater management installations. This webinar will introduce a new free interactive web-based tool developed by the National Association of Regional Councils and the U.S. Forest Service that will help you maximize the value of trees in stormwater management. Join national experts in green infrastructure design for an intro to this exciting new tool that enables strategic placement of trees to improve stormwater management.
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Small-Scale, Low-Cost Green Stormwater Management Projects for Parks and Public Lands
Small-Scale, Low-Cost Green Stormwater Management Projects for Parks and Public Lands
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Open to view video. The cost of designing, installing and maintaining larger scale green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) projects can often be daunting for park agencies and other public lands managers. This special free webinar of the Great Urban Parks Campaign sponsored by NRPA and APA will give you the information you need to know on how you can easily and simply design, install and maintain low-cost small-scale green infrastructure stormwater projects in parks and public spaces. Participants will hear from experts in green infrastructure stormwater management how to plan, design, construct, maintain and inspect simple, low-tech green stormwater management installations. This webinar will give public lands managers, water utility staff and park administrators the confidence to tackle a variety of smaller scale green infrastructure projects, even if funding is limited. Presenters will share how they designed their projects, engaged their local community, involved youth and young adults in construction and maintenance, and successfully completed green stormwater management projects that had measurable benefits.
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Green Infrastructure in Parks: Collaboration, Funding, and Community Engagement
Green Infrastructure in Parks: Collaboration, Funding, and Community Engagement
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Open to view video. Exciting new opportunities for green stormwater management in parks are taking shape in urban communities across the nation. Public parks offer ideal locations for green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management and have the added benefit of providing sites that engage the public and empower communities to become involved in the design, installation, and maintenance of green infrastructure projects. Presenters include representatives from municipal stormwater management agencies and urban park systems who will discuss their experiences with implementing green infrastructure stormwater management projects in parks. Content will include a preview of the final draft of EPA’s new technical publication, “Green Infrastructure in Parks: A Guide to Collaboration, Funding, and Community Engagement.” This webinar will be of interest to parks and water utility administrators, landscape architects, representatives of community organizations, and anyone interested in building a new collaborative approach to green infrastructure projects that go beyond the functional benefits of capturing and treating stormwater to engaging and empowering communities for the benefit of all.
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Green Infrastructure and Social Equity
Green Infrastructure and Social Equity
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Open to view video. Developed as part of the Great Urban Parks Campaign, this webinar series focuses on best practices, strategies and case studies for planning and implementing green infrastructure projects in parks, with a special focus on connecting to communities and empowering underserved communities. The webinars are presented by NRPA and the American Planning Association for park, planning, landscape architecture, and water utility professionals interested in learning from experts in the field about green infrastructure stormwater management.
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Rich Dolesh (Moderator)

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, National Recreation and Park Association

Richard J. Dolesh joined NRPA in 2002 and serves as the vice president for conservation and parks. He is responsible for development and implementation of national policy and initiatives related to conservation, stewardship and parks.

Rich worked 30 years in parks, outdoor recreation, and natural resource management at the local and state level in Maryland before coming to NRPA. His recent work includes leading NRPA's Parks Build Community initiative, coordinating the Parks for Mitigation demonstration projects, and working with the National Wildlife Federation to connect 10 million kids to nature and the outdoors over the next three years. Rich represents NRPA on a number of coalitions and advisory groups including the Sustainable Urban Forestry Coalition, the steering committee for Natural Play and Learning Area guidelines, and the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES).

Rich is a frequent contributor to NRPA's Parks and Recreation Magazine, and has written numerous articles on parks and natural resources in publications including The Washington Post and National Geographic Magazine.

Jenny Cox

Conservation Program Specialist, National Recreation and Park Association

Jenny Cox is a Program Specialist on the Conservation team at the National Recreation and Park Association. Jenny joined NRPA in 2016 and works on NRPA’s Great Urban Parks Campaign, promoting green stormwater infrastructure in parks. She also manages community engagement initiatives and leads NRPA’s Equity Advisory Panel. Prior to NRPA, Jenny worked at American Rivers assisting with restoration and green stormwater infrastructure projects, specifically in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 

David Rouse, FAICP, ASLA

Managing Director of Research and Advisory Services, American Planning Association

David Rouse is the Managing Director of Research and Advisory Services for the American Planning Association in Washington, DC. In this capacity he leads APA’s applied research programs, including the Planning Advisory Service and the three National Centers for Planning: Green Communities, Hazards Planning, and Planning and Community Health. David is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a registered landscape architect with over 30 years of experience in community planning and design.

Lori Robertson

Director of Conservation, National Recreation and Park Association

As Director of Conservation at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Lori Robertson provides strategic direction and fundraising oversight for NRPA’s conservation portfolio. With background as a science educator in both public school and residential outdoor programs, Lori has spent her career working to connect young people with the natural world. She comes to NRPA from the Student Conservation Association where she led SCA’s national engagement strategy and created programs focused on providing urban residents with service, learning, and recreation opportunities on public lands. She is a graduate of the 2016 American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy, a current student at Georgetown University and mom to 3 year old River.

Emily Clifton

Senior Environmental Planner, Low Impact Development Center, Inc.

Emily Clifton, AICP is Senior Environmental Planner and Scientist for the Low Impact Development Center, a national research organization that focuses on sustainable stormwater management solutions for urban and developing areas. Emily has over 15 years of experience in green infrastructure management and leads the Low Impact Development Center’s efforts on green infrastructure planning. She has an M.S. in Environmental Science and a Master’s in Public Affairs from Indiana University. She also holds a B.A. in Business Administration and a B.A in Philosophy from Austin College. Emily provides leadership on design manuals, training, outreach efforts, research, and plan development and review for the Low Impact Development Center. 

Serda Ozbenian

Conservation Program Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

As Conservation Program Manager Serda manages various programs at NRPA, including Wildlife Explorers. Serda has extensive experience as an environmental researcher, policy specialist, and educator with organizations such as the Earth Island Institute, Animal Welfare Institute, and Earthjustice. She was a 2015 Fulbright Fellow, holds an MS in Environmental Science and Policy from George Mason University and was selected in 2010 as an Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leader.

Robert Goo

Environmental Protection Specialist, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, US Environmental Protection Agency

Robert Goo works in the Office of Water at the Environmental Protection Agency.  His primary focus is to promote the use of green infrastructure to manage runoff and protect and restore water resources.  In this capacity he works with state and local governments, NGOs, academia, and industry to assess and evaluate best management practices for stormwater management and encourage their implementation in a cost effective manner.    Robert also works on the development of voluntary codes and standards such Sustainable Sites, LEED, ASHRAE, and the National Green Building Standards.

Na'Taki Osborne Jelks

Co-Founder, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA)

Dr. Na'Taki Osborne Jelks co-founded the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA), an urban, community-based organization of Proctor, Utoy, and Sandy Creek Watershed residents in Northwest and Southwest Atlanta, GA who are overburdened with environmental stressors and pollution, but often underrepresented at environmental decision-making tables. WAWA was established as a result of community efforts to halt discriminatory wastewater treatment practices in West Atlanta, and the organization has grown to become an impactful force in community-centered sustainable development.

In addition to her community leadership and activism, Dr. Jelks is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Health at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

Paula Conolly, AICP

Director, The Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange

Paula Conolly, AICP, is committed to making green stormwater infrastructure work in communities across North America. She is the Director of the Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange (Exchange), a peer learning network of municipalities, water utilities, and counties seeking to advance their green stormwater infrastructure programs. Prior to the Exchange, she led policy initiatives for Philadelphia’s renowned Green City, Clean Waters program, helping to change “business as usual” to implement over 30 acres of green stormwater infrastructure on vacant lands, parks, streets and private property.  Ms. Conolly helped to spearhead a state-of-the art drinking water protection program for the City of Philadelphia, helping to raise over $3M to improve and protect the Schuylkill River Watershed. Prior to that, Paula consulted on public health and environmental initiatives at Booz Allen Hamilton. Paula is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. 



Claire Robinson

Founder and Managing Director, Amigos de los Rios

Claire Robinson is the Founder and Managing Director of Amigos de los Rios “the Emerald Necklace Group", a non-profit developing parks and open space and a regional green infrastructure network throughout disadvantaged areas of Los Angeles County. Claire's multi-disciplinary background and approach has led to the unique success of Amigos in creating culturally relevant open space. With a background in cultural history and planning, and the teaching and practicing of art and architecture. She currently serves as member of the USDA' National Urban & Community Forestry Advisory Council, and on the USFS Community Collaborative to guide development of the San Gabriel National Monument Planning process.

Paul Taylor

Chief of Capital Development for Baltimore's Department of Recreation and Parks

Paul Taylor is a Landscape Architect by training and currently is serving as the Chief of Capital Development & Planning with Baltimore City Recreation & Parks.  A graduate of Queens University (Kingston) and the University of Toronto, Paul started his career in Parks in 1988 with the City of Mississauga – a suburban municipality of over 700,000 just west of Toronto, managing Park Development in the Community Services Department.  He moved to Atlanta in 2005 where he assisted with the early planning of the Atlanta BeltLine and served as the Director of Park Design with the City of Atlanta until 2014. 

Jessica Brooks

Manager of Green Stormwater Infrastructure Implementation Program at Philadelphia Water Department

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Heather Sage

Director of Community Projects, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Ms. Sage joined the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy in May 2013 as the Director of Community Projects. She is responsible for working collaboratively with community partners on new and ongoing projects within the parks, providing project management and serving as a liaison between PPC and project stakeholders. Additionally, Ms. Sage manages government affairs, foundation relations, and community engagement opportunities, focusing on expanding ways that park volunteers, patrons and supporters can further grow the PPC mission and continue to benefit from the parks in their lives.

Ruth Ayn Hocker, P.E.

Stormwater Program Manager, City of Lancaster (PA)

Ruth Ayn Hocker, P.E., D. WRE is the Stormwater Program Manager for the City of Lancaster, PA. She holds a bachelor degree in civil engineering technology from the Pennsylvania College of Technology and a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. She has a broad multi-disciplinary background including transportation design, low impact development, sustainable stormwater management design, stormwater management program development and municipal green infrastructure implementation. She currently oversees the operations of Lancaster City’s Stormwater and Wastewater Collections Programs.

Jill Bankston

Chief of Development, County of San Diego Parks and Recreation

Jill Bankston is the Chief of Project Development for the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation. She manages a team of engineers, landscape architects and park professionals in the planning, design, and construction of new parks and park amenities.  Jill received her BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia and is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of California.  

Matt Scharver

Manager of Watershed Programs, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Matt Scharver is the Manager of Watershed Programs for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, coordinating various water quality programs with Sewer District member communities, including operation and maintenance of green infrastructure implementation under the Sewer District’s Project Clean Lake consent decree program to control combined sewer overflows in the greater Cleveland area. Additionally, he facilitates implementation of the Sewer District’s Regional Stormwater Management Program. He brings 17 years of field experience and stormwater management to the Sewer District and is both a Certified Professional in Erosion & Sediment Control (CPESC) and Certified Erosion, Sediment & Storm Water Inspector (CESSWI). 

Travis Miller

Regional Planning Manager, Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments

Travis Miller is the Regional Planning Manager for the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the greater Cincinnati region.  Miller manages various agency programs and leads regional environmental planning efforts. Miller is a landscape architect with a Master of Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the Ohio State University.  Miller also serves as an adjunct instructor for the University of Cincinnati School of Planning teaching courses on transportation and energy planning. 

Laurence Wiseman

Senior Adviser to the Sustainable Urban Forest Coalition

Laurence Wiseman has worked "in the woods" for nearly four decades, most recently in urban forestry. After serving as founding president and CEO of American Forest Foundation, he chaired the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council, and remains a senior adviser to the Sustainable Urban Forest Coalition

Irene Ogata, PLA, CPM, ASLA, AzAPA

Urban Landscape Manager, Public Information and Conservation Office, Tucson Water, City of Tucson

Irene is involved in city wide landscape issues and policies involving public facilities and public health and wellness.  Currently she manages the Limited Income Rainwater Harvesting and the Neighborhood Scale Stormwater Harvesting Programs.  As a program that incorporates One Water goals of managing all water resources, multi-benefit goals from rainwater capture include improving community livability as it impacts human and environmental health; addressing urban heat island, water resources, nexus between water and energy and issues of climate change and social/environmental justice.    As a member of the Green Infrastructure Leadership Network, I was on a team of 3 other cities that recently collaborated to develop a Green Infrastructure and Health Manual.  

Laura Connelly

Environmental Park Projects Manager, Parks & People Foundation

Laura Connelly is a project manager at the Parks & People Foundation, a non-profit in Baltimore City whose mission is to unite Baltimore through parks. She and her team work with stakeholders to deliver high-quality new parks and park improvements to Baltimore neighborhoods from engagement, visioning, and design, through permitting, implementation, and continuing sustainability. Prior to work on the parks program, she managed a multi-million dollar suite of urban stormwater retrofit/green infrastructure projects to improve water quality and provide uplift to City residents in disinvested neighborhoods. Before joining Parks & People, Laura worked at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as a stream biologist and then a planner in restoration financing and policy on the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund. In addition to managing project design, permitting, and implementation, Laura works with public, private, and civic partners on policy and planning efforts to leverage social, economic, and environmental outcomes. Laura holds a B.S. in Biology from Washington College and an M.S. in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Johns Hopkins University.