Park and Rec Board Wants You to Attend First-Ever "Dallas Parks Stakeholders' Summit"

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An intriguing invite just arrived in the Unfair Park in-box: On November 6, the Park and Rec Board is hosting a daylong summit at the Fair Park Music Hall, during which Mayor Tom will deliver a keynote before the limited-to-500-attendees go in their separate directions to learn how to become "park advocates." All the council members are expected to attend; so too "nationally and locally acclaimed park and recreation experts." Which now explains why the Park Board has a summit planning meeting scheduled for this afternoon at Dallas City Hall.

The full release follows, but the reason for the early heads-up is due to the limited space. City Hall has set up a website where those so interested can RSVP, as the deadline to do so is October 1, and registration's limited to two folks per organization, if that's how you roll.

Board member and summit organizer Lee Kleinman makes it clear in this morning's announcement that the event's tied to forthcoming Park and Rec budget cuts that "will have an obvious visual and functional impact on parks," per the City Hall summary. "We want citizens to speak in support of increased parks and recreation funding," Kleinman says, "and make their elected officials, friends and neighbors aware of the critical need to invest in urban parks and recreation programs." Also: Can you spare a lawn mower?
More than 30 Workshops Will Highlight Ways Citizens Can Become Advocates for Dallas Parks

(DALLAS) - Building strong citizen alliances and partnerships is what the Dallas Park and Recreation Board hopes will happen when it convenes a forum to educate stakeholders about the benefits of parks and recreation programs within their communities.

The Park Board joins with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department and Dallas Parks Foundation to host the first-ever Dallas Parks Stakeholders' Summit from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6 at Fair Park. Thirty-six citizen-focused breakout sessions will address the indispensable role of parks and recreation programs in shaping Dallas' economic, social, health and environmental vitality. Individuals and stakeholder groups interested in becoming parks advocates can attend the summit at no cost, thanks to the financial support of the Dallas Parks Foundation and several area sponsors.

"Advocates are people and groups who are passionate about our city's parks and recreation services. We want citizens to speak in support of increased parks and recreation funding and make their elected officials, friends and neighbors aware of the critical need to invest in urban parks and recreation programs," said Lee Kleinman, event organizer and Park Board member.

Kleinman said he anticipates the summit will attract members of established and newly organized friends groups, sports and athletic clubs, homeowners and neighborhood associations, environmental coalitions, and community social and civic organizations. Attendance is limited to 500 participants, he added.

A keynote address by Mayor Tom Leppert and the opportunity for participants to visit with their respective City Council members will highlight the daylong event. Workshops led by nationally and locally acclaimed park and recreation experts will examine issues crucial to the parks and recreation field. Topics will include creating successful public-private partnerships, launching effective friends groups, increasing citizen advocacy, and working with the City of Dallas to initiate innovative programs and services development.

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