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March 2019

Presidents Message – March 2019


Spring greetings from the Saint Paul Parks Conservancy! First, I want to thank you for your support, especially if you have contributed financially to one of our past projects.  Maintaining and enhancing our nationally-awarded park system takes sustained focus, partnerships and support from people like you!

Second, I want to update you on our future. This is my third year as Board President and my 9th year on the board and I’ve never felt more excited and energized about our future.  We have been busy over the last year formulating an ambitious, five-year strategic plan focused on our mission:

“The Saint Paul Parks Conservancy raises funds and partners with the Department of Parks and Recreation and the community to enhance and expand parks and recreation facilities that meet the changing needs of people in our diverse and growing city.” 

I am thrilled to report that we received a grant from the McKnight Foundation to implementing the plan. Here are the highlights of our next steps:

Campaign feasibility:  Over the next 60-90 days, we will be engaged in a thorough, comprehensive feasibility analysis and goal assessment to provide a roadmap for our future success.  If you are contacted to provide input and feedback, we hope that you will do so.

 Project selection: Saint Paul is home to approximately 5,000 acres of parkland in nearly 150 parks.  We’re also home to 26 recreation and community centers across the city that serve as community gathering spots.   Selecting the projects that we support considers many factors and always involves assessing where our efforts can make our city’s parks and recreation facilities even more attractive, sustainable and welcoming.  To date, we have identified 14 potential projects that meet our criteria and have identified five for our “short list”.

Volunteer efforts: We are excited to be developing our new volunteer program with the help of Leadership Saint Paul (LSP) program sponsored by the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce. The timing of our effort is perfect and coincides with Mayor Carter’s “Serve Saint Paul” challenge, an initiative to connect residents to civic volunteering opportunities to serve their community. We accept the challenge and the call to action and will be developing a series of volunteer efforts to connect volunteers to their parks.

Communication:  The Conservancy, will the help of our donors, does great work.  But not many people know who we are.  Starting with our website, we will be creating new ways for people to learn about the needs facing our park system and engage in efforts that help build on the legacy of our park system.

I invite you to join us in the journey!


– Garth Morrisette, 2018-2019 Board President

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