Building Positive Relationships: Parks, Government, Healthcare

Guiding on Public Lands - Considerations, Communications, and Collaborating

Teresa L. Penbrooke, PhD, CPRE
Director of the Healthy Communities Research Group and Faculty

As we learn more about how Nature Therapy and Forest Bathing are important for human health, and work to bring immersion and practice to the world, we also need to be responsible stewards, collaborators, advocates, and agents for public land management needs. This session will provide a workshop to discuss considerations for guiding on public lands, opportunities and approaches for collaborating with local parks and land managers, and legal/ethical implications for practice in public spaces. Participants will review program and design opportunities in line with current public management practices, positioning and framing, and methods for positive influence to promote growth of offerings.

Dr. Teresa Penbrooke’s career has included over 30 years of private and non-profit business management, teaching, and research, including many years as a parks and recreation agency administrator and program coordinator for three different public agencies in Colorado. She is currently the Director of the Healthy Communities Research Group and Faculty for GP RED, a national non-profit that provides Research, Education, and Development for health, recreation, and land management agencies. Teresa is also the CEO and Founder of GreenPlay, LLC, a leading private parks, recreation, tourism, and open space consulting firm, which has completed community engagement and planning for over 500 communities in the U.S. and around the world since 1999. Teresa is currently a Curriculum Consultant and Affiliate Faculty at Metropolitan State University – Denver, and on the Board for Park Rx America. Teresa brings strong public lands and program management, outdoor recreation, preventive health, access to nature promotion, and experiential education experience. She now authors books and articles, teaches for state and national associations and universities, and consults on access to nature and health, operations, management, master planning, and community engagement. She has a BS in Kinesiology, a Masters in Organizational Management, and her PhD is in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management.  She loves combining her natural intellectual curiosity, love of nature, entrepreneurial spirit, and public sector heart to help professionals and communities thrive. More information can be found at or