One of the pleasures of living Uptown is our rich endowment of beautiful parks. It is a great pleasure that Harlem’s own Karen Phillips is now a leader in managing the City’s Park. If you don’t know Karen, or just want to come and say hello again, do come out this Thursday, January 24th at 6:30pm to hear her speak at Mount Morris Talks.

Mount Morris Talks! is a series of conversations hosted by the Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association. It brings together community and leaders, newsmakers, artists, authors and thinkers who live in the Harlem area. We are happy to share  in our blog the events highlights.  For further details on the event or MMPCIA’s overall activities please see their website at MMPCIA website.

Our community has a look and feel. Ever stop and wonder how it got that way? Who makes the creative decisions? How do the demands of real estate profitability dovetail with a neighborhood aesthetic? What does it take to preserve Harlem’s heritage while also setting the stage for its growth? Karen A. Phillips, Director of the NYC region of NY State Parks and Recreation, can give you those answers and more.

Karen manages six State Parks, ranging from Riverbank State Park in Harlem, a 28-acre urban waterfront rooftop with recreation and athletic facilities that include an Olympic-size pool, a covered skating rink and a 400-meter eight-lane running track, to Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve on Staten Island, a 260 acre nature preserve, complete with wetlands, ponds, sand barrens and wildlife.

Karen is also a founder and former president of Abyssinian Development Corp., who spearheaded ADC’s $200 million investment in Harlem, creating over 1,000 housing units, shepherding in large commercial real estate projects and providing a variety of community services. Though Karen is a Georgia native she calls New York home and will share what she’s doing to help shape the Harlem of the 21st century.

Mount Morris Talks is held in the Pelham Fritz Center in Marcus Garvey Park, 18 Mount Morris Park West (aka 5th Ave) & W 122 Street.