Bright Idea Recipient

Platte County Parks and Recreation Recognized as 2015 Harvard Ash Center Bright Idea in Government

Platte City, MO - February 18, 2015 - The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized today Platte County Parks and Recreation as part of the 2015 Bright Ideas program. This year's cohort includes 124 programs from all levels of government - school districts; county, city, state, and federal agencies; as well as public partnerships - that are the forefront in innovative government action. Platte County was recognized for its initiative to partner with cities and non-profit organizations to create a new parks system practically from scratch. New park amenities improve quality of life through natural resource preservation, increased health and wellness opportunities, and by offering places where diverse community members can gather to create bonds through common interests. 

"The Bright Ideas program demonstrates that often seemingly intractable problems can be creatively and capably tackled by small groups of dedicated, civic-minded individuals," said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center. "As exemplified by this year's Bright Ideas, making government work better doesn't always require massive reforms and huge budgets. Indeed, we are seeing that, in many ways, an emphasis on efficiency and adaptability can have further-reaching effects than large-scale reforms." 

This is the fourth cohort recognized through the Bright Ideas program, an initiative of the broader Innovations in American Government Awards program. For consideration as a Bright Idea, programs must currently be in operation or in the process of launching and have sufficient operational resources and must be administered by one or more governmental entities; nonprofit, private sector, and union initiatives are eligible if operating in partnership with a governmental organization. Bright Ideas are showcased on the Ash Center's Government Innovators Network, an online platform for practitioners and policymakers to share innovative public policy solutions. 

For more information, contact: 

Daniel Harsha

Associate Director for Communications, Ash Center (617) 495-4347


About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs and government innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world's citizens. For more information, visit

About Platte County Parks and Recreation

With a commitment to improve the quality of life for all citizens Platte County has made significant improvements in the area of parks and recreation over the past fourteen years. In 2000 the County had only one 18-acre park. Today the County has six regional parks, over twenty miles of trails, two indoor community center - YMCAs, and an outstanding outdoor aquatics center built in partnership with Kansas City, Missouri. Collaboration with like-minded community partners is the cornerstone of the County park system. Working with every city, school district and numerous nonprofit organizations the County is able to leverage resources and avoid duplication of services. More information on the County's long-range park master plan is available at