Graduate Student | Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management | North Carolina State University
2023 – 2024 Global Change Research Fellow
Statement of purpose:
Growing up in Washington, D.C., meant that my perspective of the “great outdoors” seemed to deviate from the norm. In addition, being a first generation, bi-Latina woman also seemed to deviate me from who was represented in this field. These differences, albeit beautiful, created unique experiences that compelled me to dedicate my studies to environmental justice so that my own and other systematically marginalized communities could succeed. Focusing my efforts on urban and equitable greening addresses the inequalities for those who lack the experiential and health benefits due to systemic racism and amplifies the voices of these communities. The world continues to evolve and I hope that others continue taking on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice work to be able to make the environment a space that truly is for everyone.
Description of research:
Funded by the U.S. Forest Service, this research was developed with a focus on high potential communities alongside organizations dedicated to enhancing greenspace and health. The first portion of this project examines the perspectives of national organizations regarding urban greening priorities (e.g. tree planting), community engagement practices, social equity practices, and strategies for overcoming persistent challenges to equity. The second is a localized case study in Louisville, KY, to understand the perspectives of community leaders regarding urban greening efforts, health, and green gentrification. Together, these narratives will allow us to define and share best practices (via a toolkit) to promote a national community of practice focused on equitable and inclusive urban greening & community forestry.
Lincoln Larson (Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, NCSU)