Olmsted 200 invites you to join the third webinar in our Conversations with Olmsted series. In this series, we explore different aspects of Olmsted’s far-reaching influence on America’s physical landscape and social fabric. This installment is co-hosted with one of our founding partners, the American Public Health Association.

Olmsted believed parks function as “lungs of the city,” offering spaces that foster physical and mental health. He was an early member of the American Public Health Association and understood humans’ need for access to nature and the critical connection between a thoughtful built environment and health and ecological well-being. 

During the pandemic, we’ve seen that parks served as critical health infrastructure.  Yet recent data from the Trust for Public Land found that many, including low-income communities and communities of color, face serious barriers when it comes to equal access.

This panel will explore the role parks, and nature can play in achieving health equity and what can be done to equalize resources and ensure safe and equitable access to parks and green space for all communities. The panel discussion will be moderated by Mitchell Silver, an award-winning planner with over 35 years of experience. He is a current principal at McAdams and the former parks commissioner for New York City Parks. Panelists include:

  • ​​Richard Louv,  a journalist, author and 2008 Audubon Medal awardee. His newest book is Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives — and Save Theirs. He is co-founder and Chair Emeritus of the nonprofit Children & Nature Network, supporting a new nature movement.
  • Autumn Saxton Ross, the National Recreation and Park Association’s (NRPA) first Vice President of Education and Chief Equity Officer. She most recently served as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director and Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Lead for NatureBridge, the largest residential environmental education partner of the National Park Service.
  • Vaughn Perry,  the Director of Equity for the 11th Street Bridge Park, a project planned to be Washington, D.C.’s first elevated public park located on the piers of the old 11th Street Bridge. This will be a  new venue for healthy recreation, environmental education and the arts.
  • The program will be introduced by APHA executive director Georges C. Benjamin, MD

Share your thoughts and questions about the event using #ConvoswithFLO. Also, don’t forget to follow us and tag us @Olmsted200.