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Our 1-day Summit on Connecting to Nature in an Urban World, April 19, features a morning plenary and roundtable sessions followed by interactive workshops and walkshops in the afternoon. Building on the Summit is our Conference, April 20-21, featuring keynotes speakers, hands-on workshops and networking opportunities.

Please note: Schedules are now locked from being changed. If you would like to make changes to your schedule, please come see us at the registration desk. See you in Vancouver!

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Track 2: Improving Health: Nature’s role in fostering healthier children families and communities [clear filter]
Thursday, April 20

9:45am PDT

Health-Promoting, Nature-Based, Urban Design Policy: Living Playgrounds, Community School Grounds, and Playful Pathways Networks
Limited Capacity filling up

What if families with children were the focus of health-promoting, nature-based, urban design policy? The strong, empirical link between children’s experiences in nature and their psychological well-being and overall development supports the need for intentional, evidence-based design of natural, free play spaces for children and families. Urban environments for children need to be high quality and compelling enough to motivate healthy, active lifestyles. Three relevant, policy-sensitive urban land uses serving children and families will be showcased: playgrounds; shared-use school grounds; and pathway networks (streets, greenways, and trails) connecting to residential neighborhoods. Infusing play along shared use urban pathways, green streets, greenways, rails-to-trails, and in parks can support active lifestyles of children and families. The session will feature recently-published resources containing best practice design principles, present case examples, offer implementation strategies (including partnerships for creating naturalized environments, and reflect on policy implications). Discover how naturalized spaces can attract children and families outdoors, promote physical activity, provide unique learning opportunities, increase play value, and reconnect children to the wonders of nature. Participants will leave with valuable design guidebooks to inspire action back home.

avatar for Nilda Cosco

Nilda Cosco

Research Associate Professor, Director of Programs, Natural Learning Initiative, College of Design, NC State University
Nilda Cosco, PhD, Research Associate Professor and Director of Programs, Natural Learning Initiative, College of Design, NC State University. Dr. Cosco holds a degree in Educational Psychology, Universidad del Salvador, Argentina and a Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture, Heriot-Watt... Read More →
avatar for Robin Moore

Robin Moore

Professor of Landscape Architecture, North Carolina State University
I’m co-founder (with Dr. Nilda Cosco)/director of the Natural Learning Initiative (NLI), College of Design, NC State University. I have degrees in architecture (London) and city and regional planning (MIT). Since 2000, NLI has developed an environment & behavior, interdisciplinary... Read More →

Thursday April 20, 2017 9:45am - 11:00am PDT
Stanley Salon 1 (2nd Floor)

11:15am PDT

Connecting Nature to the Walking Movement: Policies and Programs to Expand Your Reach
Limited Capacity seats available

Until recently, nature connections and the walking movement didn’t overlap. There are now many organizations, policies and programs merging the two to create culturally relevant, health-promoting and equitable access to nature. Come hear how some of these organizations bringing these two sectors together through an engaging dialogue to mutually advance the nature and walking movements.

avatar for Jaime Zaplatosch

Jaime Zaplatosch

Director, Green Schoolyards, Children & Nature Network

avatar for Carmen Harris

Carmen Harris

Chief of Social Impact and Strategic Partnerships, GirlTrek
Carmen is chief of GirlTrek's Social Impact and Strategic Partnerships team where she monitors the social, psychosocial, and behavioral impact of GirlTrek's program on African-American women and communities. Carmen is also charged with identifying and engaging national and international... Read More →
avatar for Katherine Kraft

Katherine Kraft

Executive Director, America Walks
Kate is the Executive Director for America Walks. She is a recognized expert in how structural environments impact health, and serves as a spokesperson for the emerging “Active Living” movement. Her past work resulted in collaboration between transportation, planning, design... Read More →

Thursday April 20, 2017 11:15am - 12:30pm PDT
Cypress 2 (2nd Floor)

2:45pm PDT

Changing the Paradigm: Connecting the Health and Environmental Sectors to Help our Children Thrive
Limited Capacity filling up

Connecting children, families, and communities to nature is one of the most important ways we can improve the health and well-being of children and youth. This session will outline the broad principles of childhood growth and development that make connection to nature so important. It will also explore the reality that exists when such a key health determinant falls outside the direct influence of traditional health care systems. In these cases, it becomes important not only to innovate within the health care world, but to find ways to collaborate across sectors to amplify the success of other groups and organizations working to connect children with nature. Leaders from the Intertwine Alliance will describe how they’ve turned these ideas into two on-the-ground, regionally-scaled projects: one focusing on the greening of schoolyards; the other on prescription play. Both use the power of the network and their strategic positioning as a backbone organization. In addition, attendees will explore barriers and opportunities to building these collaborations in their regions through interactive conversations.

avatar for David Cohen

David Cohen

Program Director, The Intertwine Alliance
The Intertwine Alliance, focusing on better integrating nature into the urban sphere is a backbone organization supporting the work of our 152 cross-sector partners. We do this by developing a range of platforms and convenings with the goal of nurturing and catalyzing collaborative... Read More →
avatar for Heather Davis

Heather Davis

Pediatrician / Public Health Professional
Heather Davis is a general pediatrician and public health professional with a background in community recreation. This has led to a broad view of child development and the ways that we must work together to make it easier for children to grow up healthy. Specific interests include... Read More →
avatar for Philip Wu

Philip Wu

Board of Directors, Northwest Health Foundation
Philip is a pediatrician and member of the Community Benefit team at Kaiser Permanente Northwest. After retiring from a 33-year clinical practice, he now works to promote healthy, equitable communities utilizing the framework of the “social determinants of health.” As a founding... Read More →

Thursday April 20, 2017 2:45pm - 4:00pm PDT
Mackenzie (Ground Floor)