June Workshop: Nature, Health, Access: The Restorative Effects of Nature

Nature, Health, Access: The Restorative Effects of Nature

wallowa-lakeDate:  SAT June 28
Time:  9:00am PDT
Location: Lewis & Clark, TBD

Are there issues regarding access to healthy natural spaces in our community? How can we determine needs and solutions?

This workshop will review some of the latest findings regarding the health benefits of green spaces and near-by nature and how these benefits are unevenly distributed in our community. We will discuss ways to address these disparities in terms of grassroots activities, teaching, therapeutic work, and policy change.

The day will include a series of expert talks, a panel discussion, and a public forum. Speakers include: Geoffrey Donovan, U.S. Forest Service, Portland Forestry Sciences Lab; Gregory Wolley, African American Outdoor Association; and Erica Timm, Neighborhood Trees Specialist, Friends of Trees.

Participants will:

  • Learn about the latest research on the restorative effects of nature, including the effects of tree cover and neighborhood greenery on outcomes such as children’s birth weight and incidence of cardiovascular disease.
  • Learn about basic health benefits of domestic nature (household plants and pets), nearby nature (i.e.,  parks and gardens), and managed nature  (e.g., forests and natural areas), as well as some benefits of outdoor activities and adventure wilderness-type areas.
  • Explore issues of social justice and equity associated with access to health-nurturing green spaces, as a general trend and specifically in the Portland Metro area.
  • Learn about interventions to help improve access to green spaces in Portland through the activities of community groups and nonprofits.

Co-sponsored by African American Outdoor Association, Friends of TreesLegacy Hospital Healing Garden Program, and the Ecopsychology Certificate program, the Center for Community Engagement, and the Graduate Students of Color Alliance at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling.

This workshop is offered through our Ecopsychology program and there is an opportunity to earn graduate degree-applicable or continuing education credit by registering for this as a two day course. More information about this option.

Workshop Details & Registration

Date: Saturday, June 28, 2014

Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Facilitator: Thomas Doherty, Psy.D.

Cost: $100 by 6/12, $120 after, includes 7 CEUs or PDUs



About the Speakers


gdonovanGeoffrey Donovan has quantified a wide range of urban-tree benefits. These have ranged from intuitive benefits—reduced summertime cooling costs, for example—to less intuitive such as crime reduction. More recently, he has focused on the relationship between trees and public health. He found that mothers with trees around their homes are less likely to have underweight babies, and when trees are killed by an invasive pest, more people die from cardiovascular and lower-respiratory disease. He has a number of ongoing projects including a collaboration with the women’s health initiative.

greg_wolleyGregory J. Wolley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and Southern Oregon University before moving to Portland in the late 1980’s.  Following a number of years of conservation work in the Portland area with the US Forest Service and Metro Regional Parks and Greenspaces, Greg worked as community affairs coordinator with Tri-Met, where he coordinated communications for construction of the new Interstate MAX light rail line that traversed through Portland’s most racially diverse neighborhoods. When his work with new light rail was completed, Greg founded Justice for All, a training and consulting firm focused on public outreach, community involvement, and environmental justice. Greg currently works for the City of Portland, where he has managed a citywide small businesses marketing and outreach program, as well as training and development for city employees. He founded the African American Outdoor Association in 2005, and has served on numerous boards and commissions including the Portland Urban Forestry Commission, the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission, and the Northwest Association of Environmental Professionals.

erica_timmErica Timm has served as a Neighborhood Trees Specialist for Friends of Trees for the past four years. She manages urban tree plantings, co-coordinates the tree monitoring program and serves as the community health and nature liaison. She holds a Master of Urban Planning from Portland State University and developed a background in green infrastructure, sustainable planning and community health through focused outreach and education efforts through her work with Friends of Trees and the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services.

About the Facilitator


Thomas_DohertyThomas J. Doherty is a licensed psychologist who created and helps to direct the Ecopsychology Certificate Program at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School. Thomas specializes in teaching courses that integrate research on human relationships with the natural world, environmental conservation, and sustainability with modern psychology, counseling and psychotherapy practice.

A former wilderness therapy expedition leader, Thomas received his doctoral degree in psychology from Antioch New England Graduate School. Thomas was the founding Editor of the academic journal Ecopsychology. He is currently president of the Society for Environmental, Population, and Conservation Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA) and served as a member of the APA’s Climate Change Task Force. In addition to his work at Lewis & Clark, Thomas works with individuals and consults with organizations through his business Sustainable Self. He lives in Northeast Portland and with his wife and six-year-old daughter.

Published by Thomas Doherty

Psychologist Thomas Doherty's work on environmental sustainability and health has been featured in publications like the New York Times and in talks worldwide. Thomas consults with individuals and organizations through his business Sustainable Self. He was the founding Director of the Ecopsychology Certificate Program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School and Founding Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed academic journal Ecopsychology. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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