Green Dreams


Speaker:          Dr. Casey Sclar, Executive Director of American Public Gardens Association

Date:               Monday, November 4

Time:              6:30 pm

Place:              The Armory, 128 N.W. 11th Avenue, Portland

Tickets:           $5-20 sliding scale; tickets at Eventbrite

Casey Sclar, Executive Director of the American Public Gardens Association, will explore the urgent and evolving role public gardens must play in knitting the social fabric of our communities and addressing global challenges.

Can our public gardens preserve threatened plant species as the climate changes? Can they be places of beauty and psychological health that are more inviting to communities our public gardens have not typically engaged? Can public gardens transition from traditional ornamental collections to becoming critical societal infrastructure?

"There is an urgent new role public gardens can play," says Sclar. "We must get it right."  

Dr. Casey Sclar is the Executive Director of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA). APGA connects, protects, and champions over 600 public gardens and 9300 individual members throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and 24 other countries. These gardens reach over 121 million visitors per year, continually envisioning “a world where public gardens are indispensable.”

Casey’s work experience in horticulture and plant science spans three decades. He spent 15 years at Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, PA) directing integrated pest management, soils and composting, land stewardship, and other sustainability programs. That work earned him APGA’s Professional Citation in 2011 for outstanding achievements in public horticulture.  He is the Inaugural Chair of NICH - the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture - which raises overall awareness of the $196B/yr. end-use horticulture industry, serves on the Board of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, and sits on the Advisory Council for Seed Your Future to help more leaders pursue horticulture and the plant sciences as a career. He holds a B.S. degree in horticulture from Cal Poly State Univ., San Luis Obispo, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in entomology from Colorado State University.

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Green Dreams
 Seeding Portland’s Next Parks Movement 

The Portland Parks Foundation hosted a three-night speaker series with parks activists and parks leaders in March 2019 at Portland Center Stage at the Armory.

The first evening convened new leadership at Parks & Recreation and Metro at a time when PP&R is writing a new vision plan for 2035 and Metro’s third major green spaces bond will be on the November 2019 ballot. The second night addressed the Oregon Department of Transportation proposal to spend $500 million in the Rose Quarter, some of it for new green spaces over I-5. The final event brought together activists who are greening the city in innovative new ways. City budgets are forcing new ways of serving the public. Everyone believes Portland needs a parks system worthy of the bigger city it is becoming . . . Check out each of these lectures in our online videos. Highlights from each night are below.

The Programs

March 11

“State of the Union”

We got personal and global with key parks leaders: What transformed them into parks advocates? What is their vision for our city and its parks and open spaces? What parks across the world inspire their vision for Portland?

Portland Parks & Recreation
PP&R Director Adena Long

Metro Regional Government
Council President Lynn Peterson
Parks and Nature Director Jon Blasher

March 18

“Albina Vision + I-5 Rose Quarter: A $500-million Parks Opportunity”

The Oregon Department of Transportation is readying a $500-million redo of I-5 in the Rose Quarter, building bridges and “lidding” portions of the freeway to reconnect the neighborhood. Albina Vision, a group of citizen activists wants to honor the pre-highway history of Albina by reconceiving district to welcome African-American people and culture back with a 21st-century vibrancy. Can well-designed parks and open spaces merge these two futures?  

Albina Vision Trust
Rukaiyah Adams, CFO, Meyer Memorial Trust

Henneberry Eddy Architects
Will Ives

Oregon Department of Transportation
Megan Channell

Washington Department of Transportation
Julie Meredith, Program Administrator

March 25

City of Gardens: What is the Portland We Want to Grow?        

A fast-paced evening of leaders and creative thinkers imagining ways to grow the city’s health, culture, play, and beauty through new parks and old ones.


Randy Gragg, Executive Director, Portland Parks Foundation

A veteran journalist and parks advocate, Gragg has presented public programs on Portland’s future since 2008, from the “Bright Lights” series at Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club to “One City: Many Futures,” a sold-out, three-night 2018 Armory series in 2018 that presented more than 30 leaders’ and activists’ visions for Portland future. In January, he became ED of the Foundation.

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