EcoHealth Ontario Steering Committee members Mike Puddister (Credit Valley Conservation Authority) and Marina Whelan (Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit), in partnership with Paul Ronan (Ontario Parks Association) and Stef Szczepanki (City of Mississauga) provided a workshop to about 40 participants at the April 2016 Parks and Recreation Ontario Conference in Blue Mountain. The session, "Designing Parks for Health and Wellbeing", showcased EcoHealth Ontario - its purpose, objectives and membership - and invited attendees to participate in the collaboration. Highlights of research related to health and greenspace, including ‘The Impact of Green Space on Heat and Air Pollution" (David Suzuki Foundation) and " Why Nature Matters to Health" (Toronto Public Health) were shared. Paul Ronan and Stef Szczepanki presented a case study that demonstrated the integration of these concepts through the evolution of a parcel of a land into an eco-friendly and health supportive neighbourhood park.
EcoHealth Ontario webcasts from the 2015 Latornell Conservation Symposium can be streamed here.
On 18th November 2015, EcoHealth Ontario hosted two sessions at the Latornell Symposium on Understanding Human Ecology. The first session featured new research that clearly demonstrates the connections between green space and human health and the basis for positive change. EHO Co-chairs Pegeen Walsh (Ontario Public Health Association) and Mike Puddister (Credit Valley Conservation) introduced The What and Why of EcoHealth Ontario. EHO Steering Committee member Marianne Kingsley (Toronto Public Health) spoke about the findings of two recent reports in a presentation on Green space, health and well-being: a review and Green space, air quality and heat: a review.
The second session featured a panel discussion that provided a wide range of perspectives on the challenges and opportunities that agencies face in putting ecohealth science into practice and what new initiatives are being developed. The panel members Moderator Kim Gavine, (Conservation Ontario), Helen Doyle (York Region Community and Health Services), Paul Ronan (Ontario Parks Association), Bill Kilburn (Back to Nature Network), Mark Pajot (Region of Peel), and Deanna Cheriton (Toronto and Region Conservation).
EcoHealth Ontario hosted a workshop at the Summit, facilitated by Suzanne Barrett (EHO Coordinator), Karen Morrison (Chair of the Ontario Node, Community of Practice in Ecosystem Approaches to Health) and Aryne Sheppard (Senior Engagement Specialist, David Suzuki Foundation). The workshop was entitled Sustaining Life: Biodiversity as a Foundation for Human Health and Well-being. It provided participants with new information on ecohealth linkages based on recent literature reviews undertaken by public health units, academia and environmental groups in Ontario.
This work explores the ways in which green spaces and vegetation affect human health and well-being as well as climate-related challenges such as urban heat islands and air pollution. Participants worked in small groups to brainstorm ways to use human health and well-being arguments to support campaigns for biodiversity. The results of the workshop will be incorporated into EcoHealth Ontario's future work.
Workshop Report (Prepared by Suzanne Barrett)
EcoHealth Ontario Overview (Suzanne Barrett, EcoHealth Ontario)
Health and Biodiversity: Current Examples (Aryne Sheppard, David Suzuki Foundation)
Biodiversity & Health (Karen Morrison, CoPEH)
On 6th October 2015, EcoHealth Ontario hosted an interactive session at the Ontario Professional Planners Institute Conference at the Allstream Centre in Toronto.
Marianne Kingsley, Health Policy Specialist with Toronto Public Health provided new information on ecohealth linkages based on the recent literature reviews undertaken by the David Suzuki Foundation and Toronto Public Health. Dr Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health with Simcoe Muskoka District and Robert Voigt, Chair of the Planning Issues Strategy Group, OPPI had a panel conversation moderated by Suzanne Barrett, Coordinator of EcoHealth Ontario. They talked about the role of ecohealth in the public health and planning professions and provided practical advice on how the information presented by Ms Kingsley could be used by planners in their work.
HEALTHY COMMUNITIES - SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) provides leadership in achieving healthy and sustainable communities in Ontario through the Institute's Calls to Action and Policy Papers. OPPI sees this as critical as where we work, live, and play is vitally important to the quality of our lives.
The Power of Green: Health, Wellness and Nature
Hosted by Credit Valley Conservation in November 2012. Dr David Mowat, Medical Officer of Health, Peel, gave the keynote address.