The 2016 San Joaquin Valley Parks Summit, co-hosted by Fresno State’s Office of Community and Economic Development and Department of Recreation Administration, will promote efforts for developing, maintaining, and supporting park development in Valley communities.

It will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., May 12, at Bitwise South Stadium (700 Van Ness Ave.), followed by a community engagement event showcasing the Sustainable Park and Recreation Community Initiative.

The objective of the Parks Summit is to understand the complexity of park development and its links to other issues such as, planning, economic development, health, and sustainability. The Parks Summit brings together park and recreation professionals, economic and community developers, city and regional planners, health professionals, and community-based organizations.

Educational sessions throughout the day will feature panels that explore the components of park development, current park conditions, diversity of existing funding, and strategic opportunities:

  • Land-Use and Park Planning
  • Healthy Parks, Healthy People, Healthy Communities
  • Funding Park Acquisition and Maintenance
  • Parks and Economic Development
  • Citizen Engagement and Advocacy
  • Parks Are Green Infrastructure: A Valley of Resiliency

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The Opening Plenary, State of Parks: Nation, State, and San Joaquin Valley, features Gina Fromer, state director for the Trust for Public Land; Michael McCormick, senior planner for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research; and Jean Lacher, office chief of Grants and Local Services for California State Parks.

Other speakers include Stephanie Stephens, executive director of the California Park and Recreation Society; Lori Clanton, founder of Fresno Mindfulness Walks; and Esmeralda Soria, Fresno City Councilmember (District 1).

Panelists represent a mix of local, regional, and statewide organizations, companies and firms, including: Quad Knopf, Granville Homes, TFS Investments, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, Precision Civil Engineering, Tree Fresno, San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation, The Praxis Project, Economic & Planning Systems, The City Project and Mintier Harnish.

The Parks Summit will also showcase Fresno State’s Sustainable Park and Recreation Community Initiative, a partnership between the University and parks and recreation agencies in the Valley. Also showcased will be Facilities Challenge: Community Centers, a collaborative program sponsored by the Northern California Community Loan Fund. Students and faculty will be on site to display projects during the Parks Summit and afterwards at the social hour and community engagement event.

The Parks Summit is part one of a three-part series, with a Recreation Summit and a Facilities Summit planned for 2017 and 2018.

For more information and to register for the 2016 San Joaquin Valley Parks Summit, visit the or contact Jenna Chilingerian at


[ View  the Parks Summit Program in its entirety at the LINK. ]