Greener Parks for Health

10/27/2020  3 p.m. (EDT)

Session Type:  Education Session (1 hour)

Track: Conservation


Planning and designing green infrastructure and implementing it in individual parks and park systems can further enhance community well-being through increased health, environmental, social and economic benefits. These benefits are especially critical in under-resourced communities that are hit hardest and recover slowest from extreme weather events. NRPA’s Greener Parks for Health initiative highlights the important role that parks play in fostering community and climate resiliency through green infrastructure. In this session, we will discuss the climate impacts we are facing as well as highlight the powerful evidence, policy solutions and actions needed to advance the development of interconnected, greener parks that address these impacts, improve community health conditions and advance equitable access to quality green spaces.

Learning Outcomes:

Understand the important role greener parks that are equitably planned, distributed and maintained play in improving climate impacts and community well-being.

Identify strong messages tailored to their community's priorities to encourage the development of greener parks.

Recognize policy actions that can be taken in their communities to fund and implement greener parks.



Barton Robison

Director, Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative

Barton Robinson (he/him) knows firsthand the healing powers of nature and is passionate about removing access barriers so that all Oregonians can know the benefits of time in green space. Robinson serves as the director of the Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative at Willamette Partnership, and his strengths include facilitation, strategy development and communications. He received his Master of Public Administration degree with a focus in natural resource management from Portland State University.

Rebecca Rehr

Director of the Climate for Health program, ecoAmerica

Rebecca Rehr is the director of the Climate for Health program at ecoAmerica, where she works to build public support and political will for climate solutions. She previously worked in state-level environmental health advocacy, managing a portfolio that included pesticide use, lead poisoning and fracking, while facilitating multidisciplinary collaboratives on environmental justice and natural gas infrastructure. Rehr also served a two-year fellowship in the Office of Children’s Health Protection at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental studies and public policy from Franklin and Marshall College and a Master of Public Health degree with a focus on environmental health from the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

Jenny Cox

Conservation Program Manager, National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

Jenny Cox is a Conservation Program Manager at NRPA, overseeing the Parks and Green Infrastructure for Health initiative and the Great Urban Parks Campaign grant program. Jenny holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and is passionate about the connection between parks, the environment and community health.

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