The Improbable Reinvention of a Marginalized Landscape: Shirley Chisholm State Park - 1.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW)

Recorded On: 10/29/2023

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A dedicated team of designers and public agency leadership share the story of Shirley Chisholm State Park, once a landfill but now the largest State Park in New York City. This project overcame steep political, legal, financial, and physical challenges to provide a large-scale park for an underserved neighborhood.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe the administrative, legal, financial, and political complexities behind the making of large public parks in dense urban environments.
  • Understand the ways the design team worked strategically within the physical constraints of a landfill while also delivering on the design vision and carefully managing a modest budget.
  • Demonstrate the ways that access to nature and landscape programs can support underserved communities with issues of poor health, limited access to nature, and few recreational options.
  • Illustrate the importance of collaboration and shared vision to enable the design and delivery of an urgent project under difficult circumstances.

Elizabeth R. Silver, ASLA


Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

Elizabeth’s architectural and urban design background makes her uniquely skilled at coordinating MVVA’s large urban design projects. In addition to her project leadership, Elizabeth has lectured on MVVA’s multifaceted planning and design work at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, and The City College of New York.
Elizabeth received a Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from Yale University. Elizabeth joined MVVA in 2006.

Leslie Wright

NYC Regional Director

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation ("NYS Parks")

As the NYC Regional Director for New York State Parks, Leslie Wright oversees the 8 NYS parks in the 5 boroughs of New York City including Shirley Chisholm State Park. Prior to joining NYS Parks in 2014, Leslie practiced law in the public and private sectors. From 2007 to 2011, Leslie led land conservation planning and acquisition as the NYS Director at The Trust for Public Land. Leslie holds a JD from Brooklyn Law School, an M.A. in Chinese Literature from the University of Michigan, and has very happily resided in Brooklyn for 30 years — next to a park.

Rose Harvey

Executive Director of New City Parks; Former Commissioner of NYS Parks, Rec. & Historic Preservation

New City Parks

Rose Harvey is the Executive Director of New City Parks. NCP identifies, creates, and revitalizes parks within neighborhoods that are currently underserved in small cities, primarily in the Northeast. Prior to founding New City Parks, Rose served as Commissioner of the Office of New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Appointed by Governor Cuomo in 2011, Rose oversaw the revitalization, creation, programming, and operations of more than 250 parks and historic sites. Before moving to the public sector, Rose held multiple leadership positions with The Trust for Public Land.


Video: The Improbable Reinvention of a Marginalized Landscape: Shirley Chisholm State Park - 1.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW)
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Open to view video.
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  8/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  8/10 points to pass Successful completion of this quiz is required to earn PDH for this webinar.
Session Guide
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
1.00 PDH credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 PDH credit  |  Certificate available
8 Questions