David is leading an initiative to fully capture the opportunity presented by the region’s exceptional natural inheritance.
In 2007, David launched "Connecting Green," an initiative to create one of the world's great systems of parks, trails and natural areas.
In 2004, David convened a group of business, government and nonprofit leaders to develop a vision for the region's system of parks and natural areas and to outline steps for implementing the vision. After more than two years of work, the Greenspaces Policy Advisory Committee completed a vision and strategy for creating a multi-jurisdictional, interconnected system of neighborhood, community and regional parks, natural areas, trails, open spaces and recreation opportunities distributed equitably throughout the region.
On June 28, 2007 David convened the "Connecting Green Summit" to draw together the diverse array of public, private and nonprofit groups necessary to implement a vision of this magnitude. David was joined by a host of distinguished speakers including Chicago's Mayor Richard M. Daley; Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle; David Fisher, Great Rivers Greenway District; Mike Houck, Urban Greenspaces Institute; Karen McDonald, Trust for Public Land; and Rutherford Platt, Ecological Cities Project.
The Connecting Green Summit launched three initiatives deemed necessary to create a parks system of the stature envisioned: 1) open new regional parks to broaden the region's portfolio of recreational opportunities and further distinguish the region; 2) connect the entire region together with a regional trails system for recreation and transportation, and; 3) restore 10,000 acres of natural areas for clean water, clean air, and wildlife habitat.
Each of these initiatives builds on years of groundwork and successes. For example, in 2004, David directed Metro staff to begin work on three new regional parks: Mount Talbert near Sunnyside in the southeast part of the region, Graham Oaks near Wilsonville, and Cooper Mountain near Beaverton. These parks demonstrate the tremendous potential that can be unlocked when a small amount of investment is made in lands already in public ownership.
The Metro Council is teaming up with governments, businesses, nonprofits and other nature lovers to create the world’s best network of parks, trails and natural areas.