“Pipes to Parks” will focus on rainwater and the bourgeoning field of green infrastructure, a set of techniques used to divert rainwater runoff from overwhelmed sewers and drainage pipes and into parks as water features, into bio-swales, or into rooftop gardens. Green infrastructure is the hot topic in sustainability as businesses and cities race to take advantage of both the fiscal and societal benefits presented by its implementation.
“Municipalities nationwide are discovering the economic, social, and environmental value of green infrastructure as a way to create and expand the reach of parks and greenspaces in communities,” says Carlos Perez, the Chairman of the Parks and Greenspace Conference. Utilizing green infrastructure to address issues caused by rainwater runoff saves cities millions of dollars from not building underground drainage systems and often results in innovative parks. The now nationally recognized Historic 4th Ward Park is one such example, built around a water retention basin doubling as a lake that collects excessive rainwater runoff, ending the recurring flooding of City Hall East.
Walt Ray, Park Pride’s Director of Visioning, feels that green infrastructure elevates parks from being ‘optional community amenities’ to vital components of healthy communities. “The topic redefines how decision makers approach community planning, and is especially relevant with the record amount of rainfall Atlanta is experiencing this year; the existing infrastructure has been overstressed and there is a great opportunity to leverage green infrastructure for improvements in city parks.”
“As the premier parks advocacy organization in Metro Atlanta,” explains Perez, “Park Pride is the most appropriate and qualified organization to showcase and lead the exploration of these new-found advancements in parks and greenspace for the southeast, and is very excited to share this knowledge with the policy makers and park advocates in the region.”
Park Pride is accepting proposals for keynote speakers, breakout session presenters, and guided tours focusing on green infrastructure and the creation of innovative greenspaces for the 2014 Parks and Greenspace
Conference. For more information about submitting a proposal and deadlines, visit Park Pride’s website.
About Park Pride:
Founded in 1989, Park Pride is the only organization that works with communities all over Atlanta and DeKalb to improve their parks. The nonprofit engages communities through volunteer projects, community gardens, community-led park redesigns and by receiving grants for their parks. Park Pride is active in greenspace advocacy and educating both civic leaders and the general public about the benefits of parks. The organization also hosts the Annual Parks and Greenspace Conference, which attracts professionals and park advocates from across the United States, that will be held on Monday, March 31st 2014. Learn more about Park Pride at www.parkpride.org.