Pathways to Parks Policy Forum

California State Parks Foundation’s policy forum will bring together a cross-section of state leaders and advocates to discuss the status of children’s health in California today and develop solutions to leverage California’s state parks as a tool to improve youth health, especially for those in underserved communities. New research has shown that the majority of California’s impoverished youth live within close range of a state park, making these open spaces tremendous, and potentially underutilized, opportunities to improve youth health.

We hope today’s event will spark productive conversation among California’s diverse leadership and foment the necessary change to improve the lives of all Californians. Thank you for joining us!



Doors open 

9:00am – 9:15 am         

Holly Martinez opens program youth advocate, Tati Butte

9:15am – 9:30am        

Welcome remarks by First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom 

9:30am – 9:55am        

Remarks by Mayor Libby Schaaf 

9:55am –10:50am        

Panel 1:  The Status of Children’s Health in California 

Leading advocates for children and families discuss the status of kids in California, provide insights to their challenges, and ways to outreach and engage vulnerable populations.


  • Anthony Wright, Executive Director, Health Access
  • Ted Lempert, President, Children Now 
  • Linda Tenerowicz, Policy Advocate, CA Pan-Ethnic Health Network
  • Sammy Caiola, Healthcare Reporter, Capital Public Radio (Moderator) 

10:50am – 11:20am    

Remarks by Undersecretary Angela Barranco 

11:20am – 12:30pm        

Networking Lunch

12:30pm – 1:35pm        

Panel 2:  Improving Youth Health through Parks
Leading voices address the benefits of connecting children to parks, nature, and green space, based on research and from program perspectives.


  • Jon Christensen, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
  • Emily Teitsworth, Executive Director, GirlVentures
  • Lesford Duncan, Director of Programs, Outdoor Outreach
  • Rachel Norton, California State Parks Foundation (Moderator)

1:35pm – 2:15pm    

Remarks by Mark Rossow, Office of Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia on Climate Resiliency for the Health of Parks 

2:15pm – 3:00pm        

Panel 3:  Growing Future Parks Stewards with New Pathways to Parks 
Visionary voices and experts discuss programs and opportunities to increase access to parks, specifically relating to the “Every Kid Outdoors” program.


  • Jennifer Fischer, Manager of Interpretation, California State Parks -  Angeles District 
  • Jayni Rasmussen, Senior Campaign Representative, Outdoor Alliance for Kids 
  • Amy Lethbridge, Executive Director, Community Nature Connection
  • Jorge Savala, Director of Community Outreach, Friends of Santa Cruz – Kids2Parks
  • Holly Martinez, Director of Programs and Advocacy, California State Parks Foundation (Moderator)


Closing Remarks


Event concludes 

3:30pm – 5:00pm      


Program subject to change

Special thank you to Parks California for their support of this program.