BE THE PARK: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Launches Sustainability 2013

Committed to sustainability as a core organizational value, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board retained GreenMark to help devise a sustainability plan and messaging to be implemented throughout the park system, aimed at greater sustainability as well as public awareness of the MPRB's responsible practices.
The key insight emerged after a series of interviews with Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board staff members: there is an abundance of simple steps that employees and park goers can take in their everyday lives - wether for work or enjoyment - to embrace an ongoing commitment to sustainability.
As part of the sustainability plan, we created Sustainability 2013, a strategic outline for implementing and enhancing sustainable practices throughout the park system. Highlights included overarching sustainability goals, action steps that build on the existing comprehensive plan, key messages, and strategies for internal and external rollouts. GreenMark also developed a public awareness campaign to communicate a simple, powerful idea to "Be The Park." The clarity of the unifying concept spoke directly to the organization's holistic approach to integrating sustainability into the vast park system. And, it provided Minneapolis citizens and visitors with a compelling value proposition and call to action that both supports and celebrates the parks. From creating a healthy natural world, to getting outside more often, the campaign imparts clear messages that harness the emotional power of the natural environment to connect people with a world of choices that can make a positive difference in their daily lives.
GreenMark's sustainability plan was approved by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Commissioners in September 2009. In the fall of 2010, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board highlighted Sustainability 2013 and "Be The Park" in its 45th Annual National Recreation and Park Association Congress & Exposition. In the meantime, "Be The Park" is a new branding attribute while Sustainability 2013 is a roadmap for employees to orient their work in making the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board "THE" park and recreation system of the future.