Park Bench Chat: Greenspace Policy to Advance Health Equity Presented by CityHealth and TPL

Access to greenspaces should be a right for all, but disparities persist. Discover how greenspace policies can reverse historical inequities and bridge the park access gap. It's time for local policy action!

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

2:00pm - 3:00pm Eastern

Greenspaces — from parks to trails to public commons — are essential for individual and community health. While the health benefits of greenspace are significant and increasingly understood, there are disparities in who can access the benefits of nature.

Greenspace policies can be used to reverse the historical legacy of racism and underfunding that has led to this park equity gap. There is an important — and urgent — opportunity for local policy action to chart a new, greener, and healthier future.

Join us to learn more about the evidence-backed policy solutions in the soon to be released Greenspace in American Cities: How Access to Parks and Nature Can Improve Health and Well-Being report. This report, a joint effort of CityHealth and Trust for Public Land, provides city leaders with a clear roadmap for how they can tap into greenspace for its ability to improve health outcomes and advance health equity. We will also hear from local park champions who have prioritized park policy as a strategy to close gaps in park access and improve health equity.



Katrina Forrest, JD
Co-Executive Director

Katrina is the Co-Executive Director of CityHealth. Before joining CityHealth, Katrina served as both Legislative Director and Deputy Chief of Staff for At-Large D.C. Councilmember David Grosso. In that role, she drafted more than 50 pieces of original legislation and was responsible for leveraging community and business relationships to drive the Councilmember’s legislative agenda and policy priorities. In 2020, she received the Community Champion Award from the District of Columbia’s Behavioral Health Association for her advocacy on behalf of D.C. residents facing mental illness and/or addiction. Prior to her work in local and state government, Katrina served as a Compliance Manager with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), where she worked to eradicate discriminatory practices in housing and banking. Katrina holds a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from George Mason University and a law degree from UIC’s John Marshall Law School.


Catherine D. Patterson
Co-Executive Director

Catherine is the Co-Executive Director of CityHealth. Prior to joining the CityHealth team, Catherine served as the Managing Director for Urban Health and Policy at the de Beaumont Foundation. In that role, Catherine developed, managed, and led all work related to policy interventions that sought to improve the health and wellness of urban residents. She also managed the Foundation’s grant portfolio and served as Program Team Lead. Before joining the de Beaumont Foundation, Catherine worked at the Pew Charitable Trusts, where she led campaigns to improve children’s dental health across the country. Catherine began her career as an early childhood educator, working directly with children and families.


Howard Frumkin
SVP and Director, Land and People Lab
Trust for Public Land

Howard Frumkin, a general internist and epidemiologist, is Senior Vice President and director of the Land and People Lab at Trust for Public Land, a national organization that creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come.  He is also Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington School of Public Health, where he served as Dean from 2010-2016.  Previously he was head of the Our Planet, Our Health initiative at the Wellcome Trust in London (2018-19), Director of the National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR) at the CDC (2005-10), and Professor and Chair of Environmental and Occupational Health, and Professor of Medicine, at Emory University (1990-2005).  His career has focused on health aspects of climate change, the built environment, nature contact, and sustainability.


Anita Clark
Assistant Health Commissioner
Columbus Public Health
Columbus, OH

Anita Clark was appointed Assistant Health Commissioner for Administration at Columbus Public Health in 2020. In her role, Clark oversees the department’s Administrative Services and Neighborhood Social Services divisions.

Clark has 26 years of experience working at Columbus Public Health. Prior to her appointment as Assistant Health Commissioner, she served as the department’s Fiscal Manager where she oversaw Columbus Public Health’s operating budget, ensured all fiscal and management policies and guidelines were established for the department, and advised executive, managerial and fiscal staff on department finances. Before this, she served as Management Analyst for the department, where she led projects, budgeting and management for several divisions and programs. Clark has also served as Program Manager for the department, where she supervised social work and volunteer staff. Before joining Columbus Public Health, she was a social worker.

Clark holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Dayton and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Otterbein University.


Todd Lofgren
Deputy Director 
Portland Parks & Recreation
Portland, Oregon

Todd Lofgren is the Deputy Director of Portland Parks & Recreation in Portland, Oregon. Todd has over 20 years of experience leading diverse teams to develop and implement high yield operational and funding strategies to empower underserved communities. Todd has local, national and international political experience, including leading policy and management strategies to support the vision of elected and senior government officials. Todd is an accomplished leader in developing and negotiating high-profile partnerships with local, national and international partners, ranging from private companies, philanthropic foundations and community organizations in the U.S., Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.


By registering for this webinar, you agree to receive important updates about Trust for Public Land’s work and how you can help protect public land and parks for people.



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