I have long been a believer of the positive impacts of nature and the outdoors on human health. I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, along the shores of Lake Superior. I spent much of my collegiate studies and professional career understanding the positive impacts nature and outdoor recreation has on human health and the development of communities. The more exposure humans have to nature, the more we benefit from reduced anxiety, enhanced creativity, and overall well-being. Park and recreation agencies are uniquely positioned to positively impact our communities and serve all people ‒ every age, every ethnicity, every social class. I believe deeply in the passion and potential of this group of professionals.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” ~ Marianne Williamson
I have been a relationship builder and networker my whole life – a connector and advocate of people and ideas. My professional career led me through different roles, so I can appreciate the work completed at all levels of an agency. Through the development of the Collaborative Training Network, I am helping professionals work with purpose and integrity. My guidance is based on my commitment to and the foundations of:
- Multidisciplinary approaches to viewing challenges
- Self-accountability in our words and actions
- Anti-racist principles that embody inclusion
- Courage to be authentic and deeply understanding yourself first
I meet you where you are – not where you hope to be – not where I expect you to be – but right where you are. That is my favorite place to get to know you.
“Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just start.” ~ Ijeoma Umebinyuo
Authenticity: a commitment to being genuine and transparent
Integrity: radical courage to practice honest communication and conduct
Wholeheartedness: gratitude for the continual learning and hard work it requires to positively impact our communities