2020 Chesapeake Conservation Partnership Annual Meeting:
Conserving Land for Public Health, Equity, and Access to Nature
In the context of a pandemic and a national reckoning with racial inequities, a work group tasked by the Partnership’s Steering Committee has proposed a new draft public health goal which brings an equity and public health focus to our land conservation work.
The Chesapeake Conservation Partnership’s 2020 annual meeting is a series of work sessions designed to engage stakeholders across the watershed to develop strategies, actions, and ideas for operationalizing the Partnership’s new goal in the context of our watershed-wide, land conservation focus.
The 2020 Annual Meeting consists of five separate shorter sessions described below, co-sponsored by:
- Land Trust Alliance
- National Parks Conservation Association
- Trust for Public Lands
- Maryland Environmental Trust
- Virginia’s United Land Trusts
The meetings are spaced out over several weeks and will culminate in a strategy session which pulls together work at the prior meetings.
For more information about any of these sessions contact: John Griffin, Program Manager
“We Need to Talk: Conserving Land for Public Health, Equity, and Access to Nature”
Monday October 5 – Noon to 1:30 PM
We need to talk. These four words have the power to send shivers down your spine. It’s time to open the lines of communication. The National Park Service Chesapeake Bay and the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership led a candid conversation among a diverse group of distinguished professionals working at the intersection of public health, equity, and conservation. We explored the issues and urgency of solving deep inequities in public health and access to nature and the ways conservationists can and should help.
The session is also one of the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay’s “We Need to Talk” series. You can watch the session on YouTube.
Equity in Health and Access to Green Space in Urban Areas
This interactive session engaged participants in surfacing issues, needs, and ideas related to public health, equity, and access to parks and green space in urban areas of the watershed. Some main themes gathered from this session include how we should be using strategies to avoid gentrification, how improving urban spaces will require integrated collaboration and how parks, open spaces and green infrastructure benefit communities should be included in the design of these spaces.
Read about the Urban Areas session.
Equity in Health and Access to Green Space in Towns and Rural Areas
This interactive session engaged participants in surfacing issues, needs, and ideas related to public health, equity, and access to parks and green space in smaller towns and rural areas of the watershed. Some main themes gathered from this session include how work needs to be done at the ground/community level, how the equity focus will require an adaptation of our current scaled practices to sometimes target smaller, more recreationally focused conservation measures and how we must tie restoration investments with economic development using an equity lens.
Read about the Towns and Rural Areas session.
Data and Analysis for Driving Equity in Public Health and Conservation
New geospatial data and analyses has significantly deepened our understanding of the watershed and informed our conservation priorities. This interactive session continued the work to deepen understanding issues and needs related to equity in public health and access to green space. Beginning with examining recent developments in the use of geospatial analysis for public health, both inside and outside the watershed, participants worked to identify opportunities for additional work and analysis. Some main themes gathered from this session include how baseline inclusion of equity should be used in all analyses and how we should pivot our mindset from solely large landscape conservation to include smaller spaces within urban areas that need to have the same greening.
Read about the Data Analysis Session.
2020 Annual Meeting
This session identified ideas, actions, and strategies for operationalizing the Partnership’s public health goal, beginning with a distillation of what was learned through the prior four sessions. The main principles that we collected from the sessions include:
- Acknowledge and Address the History that Got Us Here
- Public Health & Communities Require Multidisciplinary Approaches
- Start From the Lens of Livability
- Work From and Around Community Centers
- This Work Must be Community Led and Driven
- Adapt Priorities
- Real Park Access Requires Openness
- Connectivity is Key
- Healthy Local/Regional Food Systems Support Healthy Communities
- Make Equity Analyses Standard Practice
- Land Conservation Entities Must Evolve
Read the Annual Meeting Summary.