Exploring the Climate.Park.Change. Toolkit

Research shows that 2020 was the hottest year on record, highlighting the impacts of climate change happening now. Park and recreation professionals, who serve nearly every community in the United States, are poised to advance climate mitigation and adaptation strategies to build environmental and community resiliency through the power of local parks and recreation. However, understanding the specific climate change challenges facing each community and developing associated strategies for addressing them can be daunting, as few aggregated resources on the subject exist. As part of its 2020 research grant program, Sasaki, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has created a toolkit for resilient parks: Climate.Park.Change. Designed as a web-based platform, Climate.Park.Change compiles data on how climate change affects park and recreation spaces and suggests physical design solutions that address climate impacts, as well as other community challenges.

Lan Yang (she/her)

Landscape Designer

Sasaki

Lan Yang is a landscape designer with Sasaki. She is based in Boston but is involved in projects across the United States and internationally. Yang has been on the team building Climate.Park.Change. from the very beginning. She has a deep understanding of the possibilities with master’s degrees from University of Pennsylvania in landscape architecture and regional planning and a master’s degree in architecture.    

Anna Cawrse (she/her)

Associate Principal

Sasaki

Anna is a landscape architect and Co-Director of Sasaki’s office in Denver. She has worked on and managed complex built projects and master plans across North America. From large regional parks along major waterways to small pocket parks within the urban fabric of cities, Anna brings an expertise on how to transition master planning of the public realm into realized space. At every design scale, she has committed her practice to bringing nature into cities based on context-sensitive solutions and looks for innovative ways to create these connections. Anna is dedicated to engaging the community in all of her
projects and strives to create designs that reflect the current and future communities’ needs.

Ayanna Williams, MSW (she/her)

Director of Community and Environmental Resilience

National Recreation and Park Association

Ayanna Williams, MSW  Director of Community and Environmental Resilience Ayanna Williams comes to NRPA as a tested leader in place-based environmentally focused nonprofits. Most recently she was the Healthy Cities Director at The Nature Conservancy in Georgia, mobilizing public and private financial support, facilitating equity centered conversations, and sharing stories of impact with caring respect for all.  For more than a decade she served as the Director of Community Building with Park Pride.  Throughout her career she has cultivated a broad perspective and deep understanding of environmental resilience, building and maintaining relationships, while engaging in work that depends on diverse local partnerships and the support of national institutions. Ayanna possesses a unique combination of hands-on experience, knowledge fueled passion, and commitment to community. Ayanna has also worked with the United Way of Central Indiana, the University of Michigan's Ginsberg Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, and Hands On Atlanta AmeriCorps. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan with a concentration in community organizing and social systems. Ayanna grew up in Michigan's Manistee National Forest where she developed an appreciation for green spaces, gardening, and community. 

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