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Greater & Greener 2017 Urban Parks Conference, St. Paul, Minn.
Toro Urban Park Innovation Award


St. Paul and Minneapolis have two of the oldest, largest and most recognized park and recreation systems in the U.S. Anchored by the Mississippi River and numerous lakes, the Twin Cities offers some 350 parks and open spaces.
Photo: Steve Kelly

The Greater & Greener 2017 Urban Parks Conference (July 29 to Aug. 2) at the Saint Paul RiverCentre will host park leaders, city planners, design professionals and urban park advocates in St. Paul and Minneapolis. The conference is presented by City Parks Alliance ( in partnership with St. Paul Parks and recreation and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

The five-day indoor and outdoor conference offers 80 sessions, 100 speakers and focuses on four tracks: youth development, planning healthy systems, the creative culture of parks and city park essentials. An International Forum on Aug. 2, hosted by Toro, will look at approaches that cities around the world are taking to leverage the power of parks and green space.

Parque Castillo, in St. Paul, and Bossen Field Park in Minneapolis will be featured at the conference. Each park is the recipient of a Toro Urban Park Innovation Award for demonstrating innovation in park design and practices. Each park will receive $25,000 to support renovations already underway. The award is sponsored in conjunction with City Parks Alliance.

New amenities for Parque Castillo are a circular festival lawn with perimeter seating, a circular walk, refurbished play area, an interactive water feature and murals by local artist Craig David conveying people and events that have shaped the neighborhood.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board have led the Bossen Field Park improvements. As the neighborhood has no other reasonably proximate parks available while the work proceeds at the park, a multipurpose field is being constructed as the first step in the renovation. The field will be sodded to allow for more immediate use.

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November 13, 2019, 8:15 pm PDT

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