The Park Planning and Design Institute is a program of the California Park and Recreation Society’s Development and Operations Section.  The institute was first established in 2012 as a day-long forum for the presentation and discussion of matters related to the planning, design and construction of parks and public spaces in California.

The Section offers the Institute in the fall in tandem with the Park Operations Symposium which is offered in the spring in conjunction with the annual CPRS Conference and Expo.  The Symposium is more oriented to park operations and features speakers and equipment and supplier demonstrations oriented to the care and management of parks and public lands. The Institute and the Symposium alternate back and forth between northern and southern California every other year to assure that park professionals are provided with an educational opportunity in their general area each year.


This This year’s Institute was staged at the beautiful Diamond Bar Center in Diamond Bar, California on November 20.  This year’s Institute was attended by over 120 registered attendees, speakers, vendors and volunteers representing more than 40 agencies and organizations.  The event included a continental breakfast, lunch and a raffle of more that 15 gifts.

The Day’s Activities

 The day was started with continental breakfast and networking with arriving fellow professionals and personal discussions with vendor partners stationed around the auditorium.  The formal program began with an opening and welcome by Section President Koko Panossian followed by an overview of CPRS Board programs by Lydie Gutfeld, President of the California Park and Recreation Society.

 Following the opening and general remarks attendees attended a series of eight one-hour morning and early afternoon presentations by landscape architects, vendor representatives and practicing park professionals punctuated by a box lunch and the opportunity for future networking and independent meetings with attending vendors and consultants. 

The program sessions included subjects such as Park project management, personal time management and work prioritization. team management, synthetic turf facility design and management, park design and pest management in a time of increasing regulations, park planning and design for improved park safety and security and low impact community development and the design and management of multiuse stormwater facilities.  Copies of the presentations are available for downloading in the download area below.

The day ended with an extensive raffle of products, gifts and gift cards lead by Koko Panossian. 

The Institute would not have been the unqualified success it was without the on-site support of D&O Board members Koko Panossian. Michael McDade and Johnny Chou; CPRS Board member, Doug Grove; and,  Vince Brantley and David Purcell from Robertson Recreation Surfaces.  The Diamond Bar Center staff were everywhere assuring operations went smoothly thought out the day.  

Next Year’s Institute

Next year’s Institute will be offered in northern California at a site yet to be arranged.  For information about how you can be an Institute partner or attend the Institute again, please contact the Development and Operations Section by email at

 Park Operations Symposium is Next

This years Park Operations Symposium with be held at Mayfair Park in Lakewood on March 10, 2020.  The immensely successful event is in its fourth year.  For information about the Symposium watch this website.  Registration for attendees is possible now via the CPRS Conference registration website by Clicking Here.  Registration for partners and sponsors is available now by contacting Bryan Peck at .


I really enjoyed speaking at this years Insitute.  I got some great comments back from attendees regarding the usefulness of the information presented about the current range of altnernatives to glyphosate weed killers like Roundup. Activities like this give us the opportunity to exchange information and develop new ideas for use in the field.  There is really no other event like this.



Bryan Peck

Park Superintendent, City of Santa Clarita

Having played a role in the creation of the first Institute in 2011,  I am really happy to see the success here today.  It gives me great pleasure to be involved in an event which provides a time and cost effective opportunity for park planning and design professionals to get together to discuss topics of interest and to advance the state of the art in park planning and development in California.


Doug Grove

Principal and Owner, RHA Landscape Architecture

What a great honor it was to be a part of the Institute.  The State Board has been witness to the many efforts of the Section and their work to increase the number of educational opportunities available to its membership. We are extremely grateful for the scholarship funds generated through this event. The Institute was a great reflection of the mission of CPRS, which is to advance the profession in Parks and Recreation. 

Lydie Gutfeld

President, California Park and Recreation Society

Coming from the recreation side of the department, I really appreciate the opportunity to come to the Institute to get information related to park planning and development that I do not normally get when attending a recreation programming event.  The information and contacts here are a real benefit to my development, as they would be for any recreation professional.


Frank Carson

Director of Recreation, City of El Cajon


Click on the desired presentation to view it on your computer. Should you desire to download the presentation, you must “export” the presentation from your browser to a PDF on your computer.  Some presentations are longer so be sure to allow time for the download.  Should you have any difficulty with the download please email Should you have any questions regarding the presentations please contact the presenters directly via the information provided in each presentation.   Thank you..


We thank the Institutes partners and sponsors, without whose involvement the Institute would not be possible, for their engagement and programmatic and financial support. Our Institute partners are recognized leaders in the planning, design and construction of park and public spaces in California.

cFor a list of all 2019 Institute Partners and Sponsors and their website links Click Here or click on the logo below.