CFEDC Presents: Parks That Work, February 25 @ 6PM, WHQR Gallery

A panel discussion about parks with the city, the counties, and park experts

When: Tuesday February 25, 6 PM
Where: WHQR Gallery, 254 N Front St in downtown Wilmington

Parks play such a vital role in most cities and regions that their benefits can sometimes go unnoticed. Parks are important settings for arts and cultural events. They help foster new and larger audiences for educational programs that help children and parents learn about ecology and the environment. Parks give tourists a place to relax and substantially increase tourism. Parks kick start the local economy by attracting residential and business development, raising property values, and increasing the surrounding tax base. Parks also improve public health with natural settings for exercise and relaxation. They also reduce the effects of the “urban heat island” in cities. Parks connect and revitalize neighborhoods by helping people engage with each other and with their communities.

But how do we pay for parks? What is the ideal combination of public and private investment into their creation and management? Could we/Should we form an entity that would attract and oversee investment in parks? How are benefits measured against costs? How can parks be designed to maximize these benefits? How can we make our parks work?

These are the kinds of questions we will discuss about parks in our region, with representatives from New Hanover County, Brunswick County, the City of Wilmington, and distinguished experts on urban development and land use.

The panel discussion will be held in the WHQR Gallery at 254 N. Front Street downtown. As always, the event will be preceded by a 6:00pm social during which attendees may talk about their vision for parks and network over drinks and refreshments. Panelists include WDI’s Ed Wolverton, City of Wilmington Urban Designer Allen Davis, Wilmington City Council Member Kevin O’Grady, New Hanover County Parks and Gardens Director Tara Duckworth and others.

List of Panelists:

  • Ed Wolverton, Executive Director, Wilmington Downtown Incorporated (WDI)

  • Richard Johnson, Masonboro.org founder and entrepreneur

  • Allen Davis, City of Wilmington City Urban Designer

  • Kevin O’Grady, Wilmington City Council Member

  • Tara Duckworth – New Hanover County Parks and Garden Director

  • Ruth Haas, Cape Fear Museum Director

The panel will be moderated by CFEDC board member Lawrence S. Craige, and introduced by Mayor Bill Saffo.

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