The City Parks Alliance, a nationwide membership organization for urban park professionals, recently concluded their every other year conference this week in St. Paul.
City Parks Alliance hosted approximately 1,000 urban park leaders, city-planning professionals, public officials and other advocates of urban parks from more than 350 organization at their Greater and Greener conference centered at Saint Paul’s River Centre from July 29 to August 2.
The Toro Co. has been a sponsor of the Greater and Greener conference in the past, but with this year’s event scheduled in St. Paul Toro and its global commercial division offered to host an additional day.
The Toro Co. hosted approximately 150 park professionals at their Bloomington headquarters on Wednesday for an international forum on healthy parks that highlighted urban park developments in global cities.
Presentations at Toro featured Catherine Nagel, executive director of City Parks Alliance, and a roster of international presenters. Presentations included those on Healthy Parks, Healthy Cities; River Revolution Cities; and Large Parks and Cities.
The international panel highlighted urban park successes in Tirana, Albania; river redevelopment efforts in Seoul, South Korea and Gothenburg, Sweden and large parks in cities like Bogota, Columbia; Stockholm, Sweden and Toronto, Canada.
To Dr. William Bird, founder and CEO of Intelligent Health an organization based in Reading, England that helps people get more active in their communities, urban parks are a biological necessity. “Our brains are designed to feel safe in a green environment,” Bird said in his presentation.
Earlier this year The Toro Foundation awarded two local parks their Toro Urban Park Innovation award. Bossen Field Park in Minneapolis and Parque Castillo in St. Paul won the awards for their excellence in park design and programming. The parks received $25,000 each to support specific projects and to enhance current park renovations.
Toro and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board will celebrate the grand re-opening of Bossen Field on August 7.