Screen-Shot-2013-11-18-at-7.45.33-PMThe Atlanta Botanical Garden will play host to this year’s Park Prides’s Parks and Greenspace Conference on March 31.

The year’s theme is “Pipes to Parks: Creating Greenspaces with Rainwater.” The conference will focus on rainwater and the bourgeoning field of green infrastructure, a set of techniques used to divert rainwater runoff from overwhelmed sewers and drainage pipes and into parks as water features, into bio-swales, or into rooftop gardens.
Green infrastructure is the hot topic in sustainability as businesses and cities race to take advantage of both the fiscal and societal benefits presented by its implementation.

“Municipalities nationwide are discovering the economic, social, and environmental value of green infrastructure as a way to create and expand the reach of parks and greenspaces in communities,” sad Carlos Perez, the Chairman of the Parks and Greenspace Conference.

The nationally recognized Historic Fourth Ward Park is one such example, built around a water retention basin doubling as a lake that collects excessive rainwater runoff, ending the recurring flooding in the surrounding area.

Walt Ray, Park Pride’s Director of Visioning, feels that green infrastructure elevates parks from being ‘optional community amenities’ to vital components of healthy communities. “The topic redefines how decision makers approach community planning, and is especially relevant with the record amount of rainfall Atlanta is experiencing this year; the existing infrastructure has been overstressed and there is a great opportunity to leverage green infrastructure for improvements in city parks.”

To register and find out more about the conference, visit


Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.