June 2021 - 40

TYLER NORRIS

For those of us who are
fortunate to see the examples of
what's happening on the ground
in communities across America,
it is racial healing.
This session was among
the most well-attended events
throughout the three-day conference and received a plethora
of positive feedback from those
in attendance. In fact, nearly a
month after the conference, Parks
& Recreation magazine invited Dr.
Wu and Norris to continue this
important health and wellness
and equity conversation. The following are highlights from their
one-on-one discussion, which
took place not long after the
2020 election, about a month

Dr. Philip Wu: Tyler, at the very
beginning of your presentation
in October, it was remarkable
how you were able to set this
framework of the environment
in which we currently are living
- such as public health, economics, social justice, climate
change - and then you did a poignant job of describing depths
of despair. The other thing was
the optimistic tone that came
through when you talked about
all of this. What is out there that
actually gives you that sense of
hope and supports the idea that
we should be hopeful?
Tyler Norris: I think there's so
much in the question that's very relevant to the topic of parks and recreation, open space and nature...but
it's a much broader question for our
country. It's as if we have to hold
two concurrent experiences. One is
that these layered crises - COVID,
the economic and social fallout, climate change, this moment of racial
reckoning, this sense of our political
polarization - are both deeply vexing fundamental issues and are really generating a tremendous amount
of suffering. We've seen that because we all are experiencing it ourselves. We're experiencing it from
our loved ones, friends and family,
and the data is showing that these
higher rates of anxiety and depression are causing some people to fall

PHOTO COURTESY OF WELL BEING TRUST

40	 Parks & Recreation

before the Food and Drug Administration had authorized the
first COVID-19 vaccine and two
months prior to the presidential
inauguration.

Tyler Norris, MDiv, is the chief executive
of Well Being Trust.
| J U N E 2 02 1 | PA R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N .O R G

back into their addictive patterns.
And, we're all not at our best. And,
I think that the milieu around this
is so much a full-court press...that
it's easy to fall victim to the experience of " the sky is falling. " It's just
anxiety producing. And at the same
time, there's this innovative, pragmatic, thoughtful work happening
on the ground by local leaders doing
what they do in their various walks
of life as part of a large health delivery system. Providence [Health],
which spans from Anchorage to
Los Angeles to Philadelphia, is providing care and increasing access to
care at a very difficult time - both
for COVID patients and caregivers
responding in this time to their own
challenges and doing the good work
on care delivery.
We also see that work in local
economic development, housing and food system strategies.
And, we certainly have seen it
in the way that city government,
mayors, and park and recreation
agencies have opened streets for
walking and physical activity that
have helped people understand...
physical distancing while having
social connection. And below the
radar is a nation of Americans of
all walks of life doing good work.
We both respond to these layered
crises and build a pathway to a
more resilient future. And it's not
making the news. For those of us
who are fortunate to see the examples of what's happening on
the ground in communities across
America, it is racial healing. It is
the redevelopment of our economy. It is thinking about engaging
young people in the workforce of
the future, and it is getting people
in nature to find a place of repose
and reconnection, and remembering who we are in our bodies while
in nature. Every place I see, people



June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of June 2021

June 2021 - 1
June 2021 - Cover1
June 2021 - Cover2
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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