Green Linings Playbook: Innovative Responses to Inequity During the Pandemic

Innovation Round

Participants in this innovation round will learn about the innovative programs born from the pandemic that took place in parks and local play spaces that provided a ladder of services ranging from early literacy to non-traditional nature-based instruction, paid teen internships, and career development — all taking place when schools were closed.

Presenters will share stories, challenges, and successes for both small- and large-scale transformation to accommodate a range of budgets, along with information, tools, and resources to enhance park stewardship. Participants will also hear from speakers about proven strategies for integrating educational opportunities into their own park and playground spaces.


  • Recognize how flexibility is the cornerstone of quality programming in the COVID era
  • Identify funding strategies utilized to provide free education programming to underserved racially diverse youth
  • Understand the vital impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on children’s early learning and learn about the role that everyday spaces can play in promoting young children’s healthy development
  • Explore evidence-based strategies that parks and playgrounds can utilize to transform outdoor spaces into learning-rich and inclusive environments
  • Learn how to center equity in workforce development projects that benefit parks, and how to give employment opportunities to local youth and get them outside working in nature during the pandemic and going forward
  • Learn how smaller park groups in large urban centers can collaborate in order to take more responsibility for the maintenance and operation of their parks


LaJuan Tucker

Interim Project Manager, Civilian Conservation Corps, City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department

Patrick Morgan

1st Deputy Commissioner, Strategy & Engagement, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation

Sonia Gonzalez Banks

Director, External Affairs, San Francisco Parks Alliance

Nikki Hasani-Ferrera

Partnerships Manager, Too Small to Fail, Clinton Foundation

Scott Roschi

Creative Director, Landscape Structures