This April the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy team is saying goodbye to our Assistant Director Geoff Kish. Geoff joined the DPPC team in April 2015 and brought with him a wealth of knowledge about parks and park systems. His passion for our public spaces and the value of public parks to the people of a city is palpable any time you speak with him.
Before Geoff leaves cold New England for warm and sunny Arizona, we chatted about the time the spent with us at the DPPC.
What accomplishment are you most proud of from your time at the DPPC?
I spent a year and a half working on the playground in Burnside Park. So many people worked tirelessly to make it happen. It was great watching hundreds of kids climb all over it for the first time, most especially, my own kids Alex and Dylan.
What will you miss most about Downtown Providence?
The energy, creativity and never take no for an answer attitude of so many of the people working to make the city better.
When you come back to visit Providence in 5 years, what do you hope to see?
I’ve always appreciated the historic architecture of this city and hope to see it grow in a way that honors its past.
Favorite moment in the park during your 3 years with us?
I was talking to a school group about urban wildlife and how animals have adapted to cities. As I was telling them about the hawks who hunt in Burnside Park, a hawk flew out of a tree and caught a pigeon right behind them. The kids were blown away.
Any parting words for us before you head to the desert?
I’ve always believed that you need stewardship for a park to succeed. People have so many varied reasons for what makes them feel connected with a space. We’ve created so much momentum in getting people to care about Kennedy Plaza and our downtown parks in the last 5 years. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
All of us here at the DPPC have enjoyed working with Geoff, his dry humor and passion for parks have been a great addition to our small team. DPPC Development Chair Pat Moran remembers that Geoff “came to us at a DPPC growth time when we needed his calm, humble demeanor and brilliant knowledge about parks, permitting, managing, grant writing, and state of the art playground development (well, we all learned that one by doing!). Geoff is leaving us as a much better organization.”
DPPC Executive Director Cliff Wood speaks for all of us when he says, “There is a direct correlation between Geoff’s expertise and commitment to public spaces and the mission of the DPPC and the progress we’ve made in the years since he joined us. Momentum from his contribution will be felt long after he leaves.”