Lauren Bornfriend, Executive Director
As Executive Director since 1999, Lauren Bornfriend oversees the Alliance’s activist role on behalf of Philadelphia’s parks and recreation. During Lauren’s tenure, the Parks Alliance has grown and diversified its city-wide constituency and has become the only independent voice advocating for parks and recreation across Philadelphia. She has led the Alliance through numerous advocacy campaigns, including those resulting in the historic 2008 Charter Referendum creating the new Department of Parks and Recreation; the passing of Philadelphia’s first Open Lands Protection Ordinance in 2011; and the $2.675 Million annual operating budget increase for the Department of Parks and Recreation in FY 2013.
Under Lauren’s leadership, the Parks Alliance commissioned the Trust for Public Land’s Center for Urban Parks Excellence study and report, which established that Philadelphia’s parks and recreation bring hundreds of millions of dollars in annual savings and income to the city of Philadelphia and its citizens. She has facilitated hands on workshops in Creativity and Parks and has planned and organized a number of Mayoral forums for the Parks Alliance and partners. Lauren is often invited to speak at national conferences and webinars about park advocacy.
Lauren holds a BA from Alfred University and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts. Prior to joining the Parks Alliance, she was an environmental paralegal for Beveridge & Diamond in NYC; special needs Coordinator at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY and a founding partner and designer for Contained Spaces, a clothing design and manufacturing company in NYC. She currently serves on the board of the Business Association of West Parkside and the Fund for the Waterworks and serves on a number of advisory committees.
Tracie Blummer, Program Coordinator
Tracie coordinates our programs and manages our digital advocacy platforms including our website, email blasts and social media. Tracie joined the Philadelphia Parks Alliance in January 2012 after completing a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning and Nonprofit Management from Virginia Tech University. Tracie brings several years of community service as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) in West Virginia and internationally in China and Tibet. She also holds a BFA in computer-aided-design from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and currently serves on the board of BuildaBridge International. Tracie is an avid hiker and in 2007 was married on the covered bridge in the Wissahickon Valley section of Fairmount Park. She lives in Germantown with her husband and 6-month-old son.
Elizabeth Pilar, Administrative Coordinator
Elizabeth Pilar, Administrative Coordinator, is responsible for the Parks Alliance’s constituent database, financial administration, office management, and event coordination. She has been passionate about open space ever since growing up on a farm near Reading, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth previously served as Assistant Director of Development for the Willistown Conservation trust where she managed annual fundraising, produced graphic materials, maintained the donor database and planned and coordinated events. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Visual Art and in the History of Art and Architecture from Brown University and lives in West Philadelphia with her husband.