Summary Report and White Paper

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Summary Report and White Paper

Urban Park Summit

September 22, 2009

Phoenix Park Hotel

Washington, DC


The National Recreation and Park Association hosted an Urban Park Summit on September 22, 2009, in Washington, DC.  The Summit brought together key federal agency officials, Members of Congress, congressional staff, elected urban officials, and urban park directors in dynamic roundtable and panel discussions to address critical needs and emerging opportunities for urban parks in America. Key to the discussion was the role parks and recreation play as part of the solution for meeting the needs and challenges of revitalizing urban communities.

The stated purpose of the Urban Park Summit was to seek strong support for urban parks in the White House’s National Urban Policy and to secure Congressional and Administration support for new urban parks legislation. This legislation would restore federal support and funding for urban parks while addressing their role in promoting health and revitalizing urban communities. One clear message from the Obama administration is that revitalizing urban areas is a priority, and they have made development of a comprehensive urban policy a cornerstone. Therefore, timing is ideal for promoting the needs of urban parks.

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), Lois Finkelman’s introductory remarks, suggested that the Urban Park Summit was a key part of the strategy to incorporate the notion of quality urban parks into every phase of healthy, livable, desirable, and economically sustainable urban communities. She related how NRPA partnered with Washington Parks & People and major recreation equipment suppliers to create a state-of-the-art playground for the children in a long neglected portion of Northeast Washington, DC and to perform a long-range study to document the health benefits the park will bring to its surrounding community. She also spoke to objectives of the Urban Park Summit, to secure Congressional and Administration support for legislation providing the resources needed for urban parks, and to open up new lines of communication advancing the vision for safe, healthy, economically viable, and environmentally sustainable urban communities.

The President of NRPA, Jodie Adams, talked about NRPA’s vision for urban parks. For the past several years, NRPA has made a commitment to include urban parks as a central part of NRPA’s long-term strategic plan. The NRPA leadership believes that urban parks are an essential component to advancing a national agenda. From the NRPA perspective as a national advocacy organization for parks and recreation, it is clear that the needs of urban parks have been neglected for years. She also mentioned the Obama Administration’s renewed commitment to meeting the needs of cities and urban counties, which is fundamental to NRPA’s initiatives to gain greater resources and commitment to urban parks.

Setting the Stage

The Urban Park Summit was held this autumn and in Washington, DC for a few key reasons. High on the list is the continuing commitment of NRPA to urban parks which was revitalized in 2006 in Chicago, with the first Urban Park Summit hosted by NRPA, and from which this summit was a logical outgrowth. At the 2006 Summit a Call to Action and guiding principles were developed. The 2006 summit was referenced at this meeting, and the preamble and principles which will be sent to the current administration are addendums to this document.

On June 16, 2009 an Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities was established among several federal agencies which has several priorities that may offer opportunities for urban parks. In addition, Congressman Sires, who comes from an Urban area, the city of West New York, New Jersey and grew up loving urban parks, introduced legislation along with 22 co-sponsors to get sorely needed funds for Urban parks, through “The Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act” (HR 3734). Finally, this Summit was held shortly before the 2009 NRPA Annual Congress Oct 13, 2009 - Oct 16, 2009 in Salt Lake City, where strategies for next steps can be discussed. The increasing importance of parks and recreation to the health and livability of urban communities has rapidly become of interest in national policy development, and new initiatives for Smart Growth, transit-friendly cities, and metropolitan planning have all placed quality parks and urban green spaces in the forefront of urban interests. Thus, NRPA hosting such a Summit is very timely.


There were several common themes and ideas reiterated throughout the Urban Parks Summit by the Federal panelists and the state parks Directors. These themes could also be characterized as needs that were identified.

  1. Partnerships – Parks agencies need to partner with other organizations such as school systems to reach a larger audience to maximize the effectiveness of existing funding and secure more funds.

  2. Leverage Resources – As mentioned above, parks need to leverage their funds by partnering with organizations that have similar goals, both public and private.

  3. Performance Measures and Data to prove worth –There were many discussions between panel members who were asking for data to justify the support requested and participants who felt they had supplied more than sufficient data. Participants felt that action, not data, was needed immediately. In the experienced opinion of the facilitators regarding Washington, DC politics, data are needed and the parks agencies need to be the suppliers. Congress will not act until they see that the parks are used by their constituents, with demonstrated benefits, and any current funding is being used effectively.

  4. Urban Park concerns -

    • Safety in Parks – Parks should be safe for both children and adults. They should be a safe area where children can meet, play and hang out. Adults should be able to exercise in parks and feel safe. One solution to both safety issues could be a greater police presence in parks.

    • Afterschool programs – People tend worry about their children getting to school, but not what happens after school. These “latch-key” children could participate in afterschool programs in Urban Parks instead of being home alone.

    • Pools – Very few Urban Parks have recreation centers with pools. According to several participants, there is a higher incidence of inner city youths dying from drowning, then those in suburban or rural areas, because urban youths don’t learn to swim. Parks having recreation centers with pools would go a long way to alleviate this fatal problem.

  1. Urban Park Benefits –

  • Health

  • Exercise

  • Childhood Obesity – probably the most cited theme throughout the Summit was that of obesity. Children do not go out and play as they used to for many reasons. These include: because they are occupied with computer games or television; their parents don’t allow them to play unsupervised; they have no good places for play. Combined with poor eating habitats, the cases of childhood obesity have increased dramatically in the last twenty years.1 Urban parks should be an area where children can easily and safely get a significant portion of daily physical activity; thereby diminishing occurrences of childhood obesity. If more parks existed, children can access them, appreciate the outdoors, and get exercise.


The morning sessions spoke to perspectives on programs, policies, and challenges to revitalize America’s urban areas and build healthy livable communities. These sessions can best be summarized into challenges and opportunities. Some of the areas addressed in challenges include:

  • Funding – Very little funding is going to parks from the national level. Even a small amount of matching federal funds will show other funders that the Administration is committed to revitalizing urban parks and therefore they should be as well.

  • Performance Measures – Being able to quantify performance and progress towards a goal helps securing support from prospective funders and policy makers.

  • Safety – Many urban parks are not considered safe, and therefore have less activity then they would otherwise.

  • The need for more evidence of health benefits - Many panelists and participants spoke to one of the nation’s top health priorities, reducing obesity in children and adults. The challenge here is to show a direct link between parks and improved health, thereby addressing one factor regarding obesity, which is the need for physical activity and safe, convenient access to exercise. There is also a need for clearer indicators of the health function of parks, such as the numbers of pedestrians or cyclists using the parks, and the amount of people walking for exercise on a daily basis.

  • Accessibility – There are not enough parks in some urban communities, or parks are not easily accessible, so it can be very difficult to reach those parks if public transportation or safe routes do not come close enough.

  • Understanding the benefits of multiple uses – Parks can be used for play, exercise, sports, as an alternative to delinquency, as open space, as a benefit to local tax bases and increased real estate values, as a place to learn about nature, as an “urban stay-cation”, as a place for community meetings, as habitat for wildlife, and as storm water management areas.

  • Dealing with culture change - The challenge of culture change facing healthy livable communities includes the tension between the public and private sectors, how sprawl has caused most of us to think of our backyards as the ‘green space,’ and how to go about reasserting the public realm.

  • Being equitable and fair in distribution - Equity and fairness in creating healthy, livable communities is another challenge demonstrated by those who are the worst off and face the biggest barriers. Those “in-need” include minorities, socio-economically challenged, the elderly and children. Environmental justice shows that those “in-need” often do not get the same amenities as those in affluent communities. Another equitable factor is fairness in making our parks safe, close and accessible to all, no matter what their income level or location.

  • Being sustainable - Panelists mentioned the challenge of sustainability, and recognizing that our parks are a legacy to future generations. Participants noted that it is exceedingly difficult and expensive to retrofit aging facilities, to make them green, sustainable, and energy efficient. Additionally, they noted there have been extremely limited federal funds for this purpose to date.

Funding is a core challenge that was discussed by all panel members, and participants. The present treatment of parks is as a local issue and therefore having the onus of funding lie with the local government. This burden has resulted in a budget struggle and shortfall for many cities. The issue is one of improving the parks, supporting park goals and at the same time sustaining urban infrastructure (e.g. police, schools, prisons).

Some urban park directors commented that they had staff members, who could specifically focus on grant writing to fund park revitalization. They noted the ramifications to smaller cities that did not have staff to write grants and therefore could not obtain funding. These smaller urban cities feel disenfranchised from potential federal funding and technical resources. Participants wanted this situation to be addressed by the federal granting agencies. Additionally, larger cities serve more constituents and therefore tend to get more funding. Although larger cities have the ability to request funding from various sources, leveraging federal funds is often a necessary catalyst for other grants or donations due to the highly desired leveraged funding.

Performance measures are imperative to informing the administration of both successes and challenges within the urban parks. Another purpose of these measures is to have data to support matching grants and technical resources to urban parks. In essence the Administration is suggesting NRPA and the urban park directors market their attributes in a quantifiable way, so Congress can defend to taxpayers the support of urban parks through monetary resources. These outcomes are similar, if not synonymous, to those of 1993 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) requirements for federal agencies.

As a part of park revitalization, Ron Sims from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) emphasized the need to use current “best management practices” to improve overall quality of life and health. John Porcari of DOT said an example of this is using energy efficient processes and materials to create more effective transportation systems.

HUD also discussed the need to remove disparities for communities of “color” and for those in economically impoverished communities through focusing on equality of distribution. It was their belief that parks in cities were “not just an amenity but essential.” Although low-income communities are in need of funding, middle-income areas also suffer from many of the same quality of life issues in relation to health, lack of exercise and lack of access to outdoor areas.

Meeting Challenges, Seizing Opportunities

There were many ideas put forth under opportunities, which should be a reason to hope for more opportunities to gain funding, educate decision makers and develop policies informed by data.

These areas include:

  • Seek Linkages through Transportation – The current Surface Transportation Act SAFETEA-LU funds many programs to connect transportation systems to parks. New opportunities may be possible in the upcoming reauthorization.

  • Compare Needs to Policies – parks directors can make systemic changes by becoming part of the long-range planning process at the local, state, and federal levels.

  • Explore Alternatives for Available Funding – Developing partnerships to leverage funding creates more opportunities. This funding is often linked to performance measures and performance outcomes.

  • Use data to educate the administration – With data, parks have the opportunity to get support from the Administration as shown by the increased interest through the Administration’s urban Listening Sessions held around the country, and the participation of high level officials in discussions such as this summit.

  • Invite Congressional representatives to park events – When the parks are holding events there is a perfect opportunity to show-off the parks, so they should be invited. This also gets more publicity for the parks and the Members of Congress as well as showing them the value of their federal investments.

One of the first opportunities identified to counteract the challenges urban parks face involves transportation and the need to link transportation systems to parks and trail systems. There was discussion of a new transit design that might involve characteristics such as: proximity, ease of access, an explicit look at the connection between transportation and land use, and outreach to gain better understanding of community needs to improve responsiveness. The new Surface Transportation Act reauthorization needs to show linkages between performance measures and outcomes.

Another opportunity provided by parks for urban citizens, especially in hard economic times, is that people can feel like they are on vacation even while in a city. This trend has significantly increased urban park visitation but added additional burdens on aging infrastructure.

The Director of the White House Office of Urban Policy Adolfo Carrion urged the directors of parks to perform a review of their communities to determine needs in comparison to current policies and procedures. The purpose is to remove ineffective policies, reinforce those that are effective, and create new systems that will meet those needs. Local governments must make their own land-use decisions, and cities must examine their investments and create long-range plans. It is essential that part of this long-range planning process consider how cities and communities will keep their parks safe once they have been revitalized. This point resonated strongly with all participants and panelists, as citizens from cities and communities avoid parks because they are afraid of crime in the parks.

One participant discussed how he has concentrated on funding easy-to-complete projects in his community so that they can start improvements and gain support immediately. There were multiple discussions of how to obtain combined federal funding, such as grants from the United States Forest Service, grants from EPA’s Brownfields redevelopment program and funding opportunities through the Health and Human Services Department. If all these groups were funding a project, they would be leveraging the funds against one another and creating a larger total amount of money. Several federal speakers spoke of the Administration’s desire to leverage all federal funding strategically and to have accountability from the local governments, through performance measures, to ensure that the federal funding is achieving its goals.

Silos were mentioned numerous times as a fragmenting force. As a result, this was identified as a significant need by all Summit participants who pledged to dismantle the silos that exist (energy, transportation, health, economic, etc.), create collaborative partnerships, and work toward sustainable policies. This area offers significant opportunity for follow up with the federal agencies by the urban directors and NRPA.

Working with communities, and distilling information from the local levels is important to the creation of these partnerships. Partnerships create the ability for government agencies, businesses and communities to be collaborative and introduce new and innovative ideas. Panelists mentioned that there were representatives of soloed environments who were present at the Summit and are trying to figure out how to work together. This suggests the possibility that unconventional, innovative partnerships could form and help develop an understanding of the benefits from urban parks for these communities. Within this discussion, topics such as park safety, linkages between personal health and parks (youth and adult fitness), and utilizing LEED standards for energy efficiency and sustainability, were addressed. As the discussion continued, panelists mentioned that these new systems must be performance-based and sustainable. It appears that the performance based measures can be a problem if they are not in place, but once developed can be part of the solution.

One point made and reiterated many times by panelists was that participants need to contact and educate their Congressional representatives in order to secure the budget they need for their parks. Site visits to parks that show proof of how funding is working can provide momentum to keep the funding coming. Mary Bradford of Montgomery County Department of Parks, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission eloquently stated that “roads are the arteries, and the parks are the lungs of communities.”

Correlations need to be drawn, and linkages made, of how parks impact greater overall urban economic health and how they are important to the nation as a whole. Barriers need to be identified so that they may be eliminated and parks can establish these linkages. There also needs to be a champion for the modification of regulations or policies that currently stand in the way of urban park funding.

Parks can have multiple uses and assets such as: open space for physical activity, trees removing carbon dioxide and other impurities from the air, and parks building social capital for communities. Several presenters spoke to the importance of urban forests and their value to cities and urban areas in tangible, measurable economic and environmental benefits, and the need for adequate funding to maintain and care for healthy urban forests. This is especially relevant in light of national goals for sustainability and climate change.

Participants noted that the role of state government needs to be identified along with any barriers that state government creates. Others noted that the linkages between the federal, state and local levels that often serve to frustrate rather than enhance these processes. Once these barriers and linkages are identified, so too can be ways to expedite processes when conflicting situations occur.

Panelists suggested gaining support from the administration and federal agencies. One indicator to mention includes the return on investment. Parks significantly increase nearby property values and thus improve the local tax base and make money by retaining and increasing business and housing values adjacent to the park. Grassroots and volunteer support can help in obtaining funding and recognition for the value of parks to communities.

In order to keep Representatives and Senators in Congress familiar with the programs in their districts, urban agencies as well as national advocacy organizations must make the connection between parks and the people they serve as visible as possible. Participants and panelists also felt strongly about not only creating new programs, but finding a way to continue funding for programs already in place, such as after-school and summer programs. These programs hold the dual role of watching children so their parents can work while keeping the kids off the streets and away from at-risk situations. In addition, parks typically are one of the biggest employers of youth and the elderly.

In terms of creating new programs, participants suggested promoting livable communities through parks acquiring foreclosed properties from banks to turn into urban parks. Programs such as this would simultaneously help the banks (economy), provide jobs through park construction (economy), reduce the crime in the neighborhoods where these abandoned buildings are located (safety/infrastructure), improve the value of the area through the addition of the park (economy), provide an open space for people to exercise (health), and improve the environment of that area.

A closing idea for this section was that healthy livable communities are not exclusively an urban problem, nor are they an urban versus rural issue. The benefits of healthy, livable communities need to be shared throughout the constituencies.

Keynote Speaker: Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar

  • Supports a “Great Outdoors America” plan for parks – He stressed parks benefiting future generations, providing health benefits and the need for overall conservation in parks

  • Supports Full Funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund – This funding has been at a decreased level for the past nine years. Salazar hopes to get full funding from Congress. Some urban parks receive this funding.

At lunch, Secretary of the Interior Salazar spoke to the group about energy and climate change, and his goals to give parks and public lands a central role in his vision for preserving the treasured landscapes of America. His hopes of utilizing more renewable energy sources and of the uncertainty of the future of the Arctic Circle led into his discussion of his “Great Outdoors America” plan for parks. Within this plan, he spoke of the economic point of view, the benefits for future generations, the overall health benefits to the public, and how there must be an overall conservation effort of parks for the 21st Century. Within this plan, he is seeking to secure full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which does provide funding for urban parks in some cities and in large urban counties.

Salazar is also seeking to continue restoration projects on “landscapes of national significance”, such as the Everglades, Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes. He is hoping to improve the connectivity of wildlife habitat across the US, by a system of wildlife corridors.

Another aspect of his plan is for the federal government and agencies to partner with state, private sector interests and others to restore and maintain urban parks, and especially to look for opportunities to include waterway restoration such as he did in Colorado.

Finally, Salazar is looking to preserve historic places that tell America’s story through connecting youth with the landscapes, reaching out to different communities, such as communities of color, and the urban parks and greenways programs. He highlighted the significance of including the Native Americans in these conversations and decisions.

It is noteworthy and worth comparing the 2006 Urban Park Summit Preamble and Call to Action, which outlines substantially the same guiding principles. The leadership and membership of NRPA should be proud that their message was not only heard, but is being quoted back to us. Below are the Guiding Principles from the 2006 Urban Park Summit’s Call to Action:

Guiding Principles

The following are guiding principles and pillars of our beliefs that form the underlying philosophy held by the original creators and stewards of our urban parks, and they guide us still today:

• Urban parks and recreation promote health and wellness

• Urban parks and recreation stimulate community and economic development

• Urban parks protect the environment

• Urban parks educate, protect, and enrich America’s young people”


Three federal legislative acts were mentioned during the one-day Summit. These acts are the Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act (since introduced in the US House) (2009), the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Act (UPARR) (1978) and the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act (LWCF) (1965).

Representative Albio Sires (D-NJ), the sponsor of the new legislation, the Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act (URLC), spoke about his experiences as a mayor in New Jersey, and how he collaborated with developers to help fix and improve the parks in his city. He then explained how this experience led to his support of the new legislation, which would provide funding to renew parks, improve urban communities, and provide youth sports facilities. Representative Sires’ staff explained that this legislation, the URLC Act, is essentially an overhaul of the original UPARR legislation with some important differences. Some major differences include:

  1. Residing under the authority of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), rather than the Department Of the Interior (DOI),

  2. Providing money for both revitalization and new construction,

  3. Including priority funding, and

  4. Expanding the list of eligible cities;

The LWCF Act, which has a federal side and the State Assistance Program, on the other hand “was established by the LWCF Act of 1965 to stimulate a nationwide action program to assist in preserving, developing, and assuring to all citizens of the United States of present and future generations such quality and quantity of outdoor recreation resources as may be available and are necessary and desirable for individual active participation. The program provides matching grants to States and through States to local units of government, for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation sites and facilities. Grant funds are also available, to States only, for fulfilling the statewide comprehensive outdoor recreation planning requirements of the program.” (Language from the background of the LWCF). As Ken Salazar mentioned, this Act has not been fully funded in recent history, so less parks and other outdoor areas can be funded.

The Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Act (UPARR) was passed in 1978. Under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior through the National Park Service, UPARR has funded more than 1500 urban park projects with over $270 million in matching federal grants. Funds for UPARR, however, have not been appropriated by Congress since FY 2002.

Action Items for Advancing Legislation

Over two sessions, Devon Barnhart from Congressman Sires office, Leslie Mozingo from The Ferguson Group, and Ashley Futrell NRPA staff member, talked about federal legislation and suggested several ways in which participants could help advance the new legislation introduced by Rep. Sires and 22 co-sponsors. These action items largely focused on making the Members of Congress and their staff aware of the public support and the need for the legislation. Some of the examples of actions include:

  1. Having Congressional members make a commitment to visit the parks and facilities several times a year to see progress and community support.

  2. Encouraging the local county leaders or mayors to sign on to letters to Congress urging for support

  3. Utilizing the media, through opinion-editorials (op-eds.) in local publications, and inviting news crews to big events, such as openings or awards

  4. Designating a staff member to secure urban park funding, through grants and at the local/state/federal levels as well as through foundations.

  5. Creating networks, and explaining how parks will translate into a return on investment, such as property values around parks being greater.

National Advocacy Action Strategy for Urban Parks

On a national level, participants suggested an advocacy action strategy of focusing on the 2006 federal agenda and then expanding it. Leslie spoke to creating a unified voice to establish a level of credibility and trust, and the need to engage Congress in their districts as a way of getting a local voice to move the policy agenda forward in Washington, DC. Using local knowledge helps to create success stories that can be trumpeted as examples of increased funding furthering overall goals. Additionally, Leslie noted that the need for constituents to champion legislation in Washington DC is imperative.

The idea was discussed of potentially turning foreseeable commercial foreclosures into urban parks as a solution to a variety of problems. A suggestion was made to look at new policy developments that can be organized into legislation, and to seek available grants. NRPA noted that they could be the message board for some of these functions.

In addition to engaging their local communities, Directors need to work with national organizations, such as Audubon and the Trust for Public Land, and establish partnerships that will lobby for their causes in Washington, DC. Leslie suggested taking a new and innovative look at whom else to partner with and to seek funding from. Another source of new partnerships is through the economic potential of developing parks, and the health benefit side of creating and revitalizing parks.

The participants pledged to call people within their network and their representatives. They agreed to take a look at whether support at the national levels reaches the local level where change is needed. They agreed to work with the youth in their communities and then take their work and their voices to Washington, DC. Another point of agreement among participants is to help in regulatory reform to eliminate the barriers that cause delays and add to the expense of projects. An example of this is parks having to get very time-consuming and burdensome Clean Water Act 404 permits to put in a dock, when they are ultimately preserving the environment and making public access to waterways.


There were some gaps in the workshop in terms of parties who could have been there, and partnerships that could be suggested. There was not a clear message of a need for a federal state, local synchronicity. Also Mayors and governors often can help in the mix, and although some agreed to come, they were noticeably absent. Additionally, public private partnerships were not mentioned to a sufficient degree. Many Foundations and industry support local environmental, child focused of health focused centers. These an commonly non partisan and non controversial

Recommended next steps:

  1. Support legislation

    • Lobby/educate Congressional representatives

    • Form an urban parks committee within House Urban Caucus

  2. Bring publicity and attention to urban parks

    • Be strategic, find shared messages, and use the media to promote urban parks.

    • Frame the statistics/data so they work for individual cities.

  1. Identify partnerships and collaborations, and use both NRPA and the Department of Health and Human Services as well as state and local Public Health Departments as a resource.

  2. Form an Urban Parks Coalition

    • Develop vision, objectives, measurable goals, and action plan for coalition success.

    • Use 2006 Urban Park Summit Call to Action to develop vision and strategy; engage 2006 Summit organizations and participants

    • Seek and secure funding for coalition start-up from philanthropic organizations or foundations

    • Engage allied organizations to participate

  1. Develop performance measures and show how federal money contributes to achieving performance outcomes for these measures. This will to help keep or obtain federal monies. An example of this would be “Increase the number of visitors to urban parks by 20% on the next year”. This would also be a means of securing funding saying in order for that increase in vistorship, the parks need to be improved.

  2. Have NRPA partner with HUD, EPA and DOT to take advantage of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, especially with regard to the following livability principles: support existing communities, coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment, value communities and neighborhoods.


This document was prepared by Forsyth Kineon, Senior Mediator and Jennifer Callahan, Intern of RESOLVE.

Founded in 1977, RESOLVE is one of the premier public policy dispute resolution organizations in the United States and internationally, with expertise in the full range of alternative dispute resolution and consensus building processes, and a commitment to understanding how these tools can enhance public decision making.

RESOLVE is known for its ability to help parties produce results on the toughest issues, for enhancing the capacity and competence of others in dealing with conflict, and for intellectual leadership to advance current knowledge about the effective use of ADR and consensus building processes in public decision making.

RESOLVE specializes in mediating and facilitating complex issues in the areas of energy; drinking water; rivers & watersheds; health & biotechnology; environmental quality; natural resources; and community land use & transportation – and in helping individuals and organizations build their capacity to engage diverse interests in collaborative problem solving.

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