WRPA 2018 Annual Conference and Tradeshow

"Community Engagement and Organizational Change: Building Internal Capacity for External Success"


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Date/Time: Wednesday, May 2 | 10:30 - 11:45AM

Speakers: Eric Higbee, The Pomegranate Center & Frana Milan, King County Parks

Category: Planning & Design

Description: After years of staffing cuts and operating on a shoestring budget, King County Parks recognized it needed to address a critical aspect of its agency: how to adopt a transparent, community-engagement-oriented culture in a decentralized and low-resourced environment. To help it achieve this goal through training and mentorship, King County Parks partnered with Pomegranate Center, a nonprofit with 30 years of experience working with communities in the planning, designing, and building of public spaces. Learn how King County Parks initiated this organizational change, highlight key aspects of Pomegranate Center’s community engagement model and how it was adapted to Park’s policies, and reflect on the successes and failures of this shared journey to improve how King County Parks engages its communities. You will discover how parks agencies can rethink or develop new strategies for community engagement.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how organizational change and culture shift is initiated within a parks agency.

  • Gain a better understanding of why community engagement skills and consistent policy is important to an agency.

  • Receive an overview of best practices for engaging the public in the context of planning and design processes for parks projects.

Speakers: Eric Higbee is the Executive Director of Pomegranate Center, a nonprofit organization specializing in community engagement and collaborative placemaking. In his leadership, Eric draws upon his decade of experience as a licensed landscape architect managing local, regional, and national projects, and as a community organizer who has facilitated dozens of community meetings and work parties. Eric graduated with a Master in Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington, where he returns annually to teach about community driven design.

In her role with King County Parks, Frana focuses on cultivating partnerships, developing and deploying communications and community engagement strategies, and fundraising and grantwriting. Prior to joining King County Parks in 2007, Frana worked for nearly 10 years in the environmental non-profit arena.

 Session Approved for .1 CEU Credits

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