Glen Oaks Library- Scape

2015 Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series Opens Friday, April 17

March 18, 2015 by Janette Law


Kate Orff’s Opening Night Talk Co-presented with the Nature 3.x Symposium

Series continues in June and September exploring issues vital to vibrant cities – ecology, equity and health

Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series returns in 2015 with three engaging events in April, June and September about ecology, equity and health. Since 2010, the Parks Foundation has produced the Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series, an always-free interactive public program that demystifies the relationship between parks design and city-building.

“This year’s Lecture Series features five award-winning design innovators and educators whose collective background spans the globe and brings us original solutions to complex challenges cities like Minneapolis are facing in the 21st century,” says Tom Evers, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation.

Kate Orff, Buckminster Fuller Institute award-winner and Founder and Principal of SCAPE Landscape Design, is the 2015 Lecture Series opening night speaker. The free lecture will be held at 7pm, Friday, April 17, at Northrup Best Buy Auditorium and will be preceded by an opening night reception at 6pm in the Northrop Atrium. Seating is limited and registration is strongly recommended via

Orff’s presentation will feature Living Breakwaters and Water Works. Living Breakwaters won the Rebuild by Design Competition, conceived by HUD to respond to Superstorm Sandy’s devastation in the United States’ northeast region. SCAPE’s winning plan will protect New Jersey’s shoreline and community with superstorm-resilient manmade ecological breakwaters. Water Works, a Parks Foundation signature project, is a future park site on Minneapolis’ Central Riverfront that will unite newly unearthed mill ruins with activities and experiences in a location visited annually more than 1.8 million times.

The Parks Foundation is co-presenting Orff’s with the University of Minnesota as the keynote of the Nature 3.x symposium, April 17-18, 2015, which will “initiate a conversation amongst writers, artists, designers and activists to consider what the future of nature in the 21st century.” Nature 3.x is produced and curated by Matthew Tucker of the University of Minnesota College of Design and produced with support from the Institute for Advanced Studies. The symposium is free and open to the public and features Andrew Blackwell, Emma Harris, Buster Simpson, and Koert van Mensvoort.

2015 Lecture Series Continues

The Parks Foundation will continue the 2015 Lecture Series with events on Thursday, June 25, and Thursday, September 17; to receive further announcements with locations and times, please sign up for our newsletter.

In June, a trio of dynamic Minneapolis designers will be the highlight of a highly-interactive event about Parks and the Next Generation: Roger Cummings, Founder, Juxtaposition Arts; Tom Fisher, outgoing Dean, University of Minnesota College of Design and incoming Dayton Hudson Land Grant Chair and Director, University of Minnesota Metropolitan Design Center; and Kristine Miller, Professor and Interim Department Chair, University of Minnesota College of Design Department of Landscape Architecture.

In September, Gil Penalosa, Executive Director of 8-80 Cities will speak about Cities for All: The Role of Parks & Open Spaces.

The 2015 Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series is made possible the Major Sponsorship of Whole Foods Market and is produced with support from The Cynthia Froid Group and HGA Architects and Engineers. To learn more about the series or to become a sponsor, please email Janette Aldrich Law, Director of External Relations.

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation, which partners with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, is an independent 501c3 dedicated to community investment in the nation’s top park system. The Parks Foundation’s signature projects are the RiverFirst Initiative and Water Works, two design-based adaptive reuse parks projects on the Minneapolis riverfront, and the Next Generation of Parks Lecture Series. Beginning in 2015, the Parks Foundation will also provide key philanthropic support for park enhancements in neighborhood parks, with a special attention to under-resourced communities; invest in pilot programs and activities that provide new opportunities for people to better connect to each other and our city through their parks; and champion the value of parks and the Minneapolis Parks System through community conversations around national and international park trends and engage volunteers in community-wide, high-impact volunteer activities.

For more information or to support our work, please visit

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Major Funding is Provided By

Produced with Support From



Additional Major Funding for MPF is Provided By:

The McKnight Foundation | The Minneapolis Foundation | General Mills
George Family Foundation| Curtis L. Carlson Foundation



Featured Image: Courtesy of SCAPE

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