Exciting News!

A look back at the 2022 Greater & Greener Conference

by Fairmount Park Conservancy on June 23, 2022

It was a tremendous honor that City Parks Alliance selected us to host the 2022 Greater & Greener Conference! We appreciated their leadership and guidance as we welcomed more than 900 urban park leaders to Philadelphia, June 18-21. The four-day international event not only showcased Philly, but also let the city’s parks community learn “from the country’s best thought leaders about how we can increase accessibility and equity for all Philadelphians in our public land.” said Maura McCarthy, Executive Director of the Fairmount Park Conservancy.

Photos by City Parks Alliance.


Weekend tours kicked off the conference, providing a first-hand look at many of our city’s parks with walking, biking, boating, birding, and segway tours. 

Photo by City Parks Alliance.


Sunday, 6/19 also featured a volunteer service day at Norris Square Park with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and sponsor Landscape Structures. 

Photos by City Parks Alliance.


Panels and breakout sessions followed on Monday and Tuesday, covering issues around climate change, equitable parks, funding, workforce development, and much more. Keynote speakers included Lena Chan, a biodiversity expert with the National Parks Board of Singapore; Mitch Landrieu, Senior Advisor to the President for Infrastructure Coordination; and Deb Haaland, U.S. Secretary of the Interior. 

Photo by City Parks Alliance.


Mayor Jim Kenney also participated in a Mayoral Forum with Leirion Gaylor Baird, Mayor of Lincoln, Neb.; Miguel Treviño, Mayor of San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico; and Daniella Levine Cava, Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Fla.

Photo by Ellen C. Miller / Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.

This year’s Toro Urban Innovation Award and accompanying $50k grant was presented to the Fairmount Park Organic Recycling Center, which recycles an average of 6k tons of organic waste from Philly’s urban forests into usable products and community-building projects. 

Overall, the conference was a powerful exploration into how urban parks can be designed, developed, programmed, funded, and sustained to meet the challenges facing 21st-century cities. Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell emphasized, “Our parks are powerful. They provide fundamental value to our cities. They can help us recognize our common humanity. They are not dispensable. They are vulnerable if we do not care for them and invest in them. They are core to our past and they are critical to our future.” 

Greater & Greener 2022 is presented by City Parks Alliance, in partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy.