COVID 1000 and Beyond: Making Better Lives


  • Betty Lepps—Director of Urban Relationships, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, Vancouver
  • Donnie Rosa—General Manager, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, Vancouver


A roundup of the most compelling ideas, themes and quotes from this candid conversation

1. Bringing Equity and Inclusion to Parks and Recreational Facilities 

The COVID-19 pandemic saw an increased use of parks and public space by vulnerable populations. A significant point of focus was to bring equity and social inclusion to parks to ensure people had equal opportunities to health and well-being. 

2. Living in Reconciliation 

To accomplish the goal of working with Indigenous organizations throughout Vancouver to drive and support policy that moves toward living in reconciliation, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation passed a motion to develop a 100-year plan for Stanley Park, one of Canada’s largest urban parks. 

Working closely with Indigenous groups has enabled traditional storytelling in parks. As Betty Lepps, Director of Urban Relationships for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, explained, “the ability to do ceremonial fires without disruptions and without paperwork is important so people can heal, and people can get together.” 

3. Transition of Parks and Public Spaces during COVID 

At the start of the pandemic, parks, and community centres went from being taped off, limited access spaces to being used for several different uses. 

Donnie Rosa, General Manager for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, explained a few different uses seen in the parks throughout Vancouver. “You were having your child’s birthday party now in the park because you were not having it in your home, which is a trend that has continued and grown. Individuals need to seek shelter in our parks. During COVID, we saw us go from not allowing people to seek shelter in our parks overnight to designating space during the day where people are permitted to seek shelter and have camp until there is appropriate housing available.” 

4. Importance of Connectivity 

The pandemic illustrated the importance of parks and public space as an area for connectivity in several different ways. Organizations embraced collaboration and connectivity to bring vaccinations to people living in the park encampments. 

Parks also gave individuals the ability to connect with family members and colleagues which was positive for mental health and brought a calmness to their day. 

Lastly, parks also gave connection back to nature. As Betty Lepps explains “We know what nature does for the body mind and spirit, and so the ability to be able to provide that for people’s health and well-being whether they’re sheltering in the parks, or whether they’re utilizing the parks in other ways, is critical.” 

5. Integrating Parks and Recreation with Social Services 

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a shift in the ways parks were managed at the administrative level, putting people first to understand how parks need to provide benefits for the groups using these spaces. 

“I think it’s important that we are a nimble industry, and that we adjust to what’s going on as people come to our spaces in their time of need, or in their leisure time, and we have to be amenable with that, and to be able to understand what the needs are,” said Donnie Rosa. 





Full Panel

Note to readers: This video session was transcribed using auto-transcribing software.  Questions or concerns with the transcription can be directed to with “transcription” in the subject line.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:39:50
So you can see, folks, I always appreciate that people bring their whole sales to work.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:39:54
This is part of one of the Friend One of the unintended Consequences, of Co.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:39:59
Of Zoom calls is that we get to see people in their work, environments, and in their home, environments, and you get to see their pets.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:40:04
It’s much more human and I appreciate that I’m at the office today, but many of you know that I have a dog and a couple of cats, and They’ve made various sneak, appearances during Zoom so really helpful for us to have these kind of sound Bite opportunities, to get People’s.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:40:17
Clarity, in terms of what they think is important and what they’ve learned, and we have colleagues here, working at ci, who are collecting these key Takeaways and key Themes, and We’re going to be distilling them and and in fact we can continue for those of you on the chat

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:40:31
If you want to volunteer some common themes that you start to hear over the broadcast by all means, put them into the chat, so that we benefit from your observations as well so the next session is on making better lives and it’s a very specific story that i’m hoping we can

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:40:45
Get Betty and Donnie to tell us about these are folks that we talked to high. Gang.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:40:51
We’ve talked to them before on city talk, and and actually, through a whole process that has been going on for the 1,000 days and before the 1,000 days, and We’ll carry on into the next 1,000 days, obviously I appreciate all our West Coast, friends, who are coming in early including Betty and Donnie who have got

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:41:09
Their morning, coffee. I hope, and joining us bright and early, and I want you to to talk to us.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:41:14
We call your session making better lives, and I know that’s.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:41:19
I don’t know if people would understand that Park managers are about making better lives which is why, we titled it that way for you to be able to talk about your experience and what you’ve learned in the last 1,000 days and what you think should be the priority.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:41:32
Going forward in the next 1,000, Realizing We’re at this moment.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:41:36
And how does it look today? So Betty, do you want to go first and then we’ll go to Donnie and really appreciate you coming on and just spending a few minutes, with us giving us, your Reflections.

[betty lepps] 11:41:45
Thank you, Mary, it’s great to be here. Oh, sorry about that it’s it’s very exciting.

[betty lepps] 11:41:52
When I think about a 1,000 days first of all, when we first talked about it, and it’s so many things that happened and as I’ve been listening to your sessions, there’s been incredible movement, in the equity, in the rights-based way to Work with individuals and I think this is where you know

[betty lepps] 11:42:12
My focus has absolutely been on with Vancouver, Parks, and Rack, so, looking at the Justice Equity, decolonization.

[betty lepps] 11:42:20
I’m diversity and inclusion, and how do we bring that to the most vulnerable people and during Covid?

[betty lepps] 11:42:27
We’ve seen an increase of disparity. We see an increase of more vulnerable on the streets, Workwise.

[betty lepps] 11:42:38
So looking at that from a different lens, and being able to put all those lenses on the work that we do, to ensure that all park Users have the equal opportunity for their Health and well-being while utilizing Parts, utilizing recreation, Centers and one of the things, that we’ve also

[betty lepps] 11:42:58
been doing is working closely with the indigenous population.

[betty lepps] 11:43:04
From my point of View we’ve seen an increase as well as ceremony, the Need for Ceremony, for Commonness for acknowledgement, for Storytelling, for Sharing, the History, and so We’ve worked closely with Those Indigenous Organizations that are putting on

[betty lepps] 11:43:21
The ceremonies, and working with fire. So we’re able to Do ceremonial fires without the disruptions without doing a lot of paperwork.

[betty lepps] 11:43:33
So people can heal and people can get together and people can also share what they’re doing

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:43:43
Oops. I muted myself. Sorry. Yeah, I mean, I think this is an interesting on the ground learning, hey?

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:43:49
Betty, that that there’s a way to take what is a visceral crisis.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:43:56
And and for some constituency, seen as that kind of mass, let’s say, and turn it into actually an opportunity for a new relationship, a new kind, a a step, forward right which I guess is one of to me, that’s one of the sort of salient, learnings, through Covid, is and it’s, hard

[betty lepps] 11:44:07

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:44:14
To necessarily get everybody into that place, that it was hard it was painful.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:44:20
It’s been awful for a lot of people, but we can find a way to move forward in a constructive way, and learn from it I’m on I don’t know if it a 1,000 days.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:44:29
Were quite at that point but but I’m I’m I’m interested your observation about that about how you could stitch that ritual and that acknowledgement, into the into the process say yeah, donny do you want to talk a little bit about I mean, you’ve, had

[betty lepps] 11:44:39

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:44:43
Several. Yeah, iterations of this in your park system, over the last 1,000 days.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:44:50
Do you want to talk a little bit about? What you have gleaned from that in terms of the lessons that you’ve been seeing

[donnie rosa] 11:44:54
Sure, thanks, Mary, and as you mentioned Betty and I are joining from Vancouver, the Homeland of the Swamp Sales, people, the Muslim Swamish, and Saliva, tooth and you know Interesting talking about your First Speakers, Talking about Land

[donnie rosa] 11:45:13
acknowledgements. And now we have, I think, really focused on living reconciliation.

[donnie rosa] 11:45:20
And learning publicly and making Mistakes, and Driving or Supporting Policy that moves us in the direction of Living in Reconciliation and and Reconciliation, and Action many of you Will, know that the Vancouver Board of Parks, and Recreation, recently passed a Motion to

[donnie rosa] 11:45:42
Co-manage our parks, has happened during Covid, this happened in the last number of months and we are already Co-managing, one of Canada’s largest Urban Parks, Stanley, Park, We’re Working with the Muscular, Squamish and so We’re

[donnie rosa] 11:45:58
Too, to develop a 100 year plan, not just the Usual, 10 or 25 year plan, but a 100 year plan for this 1,000, acre, park, and and a a many of you may or may not know this but the the inception, of the cartboard, was based on colonial Actions.

[donnie rosa] 11:46:20
To move, people from Stanley, Park, now indigenous people who had their homes in Stanley Park, and the Reason.

[donnie rosa] 11:46:29
The park board started was to take over. Say, Stanley Park and and Operate.

[donnie rosa] 11:46:33
The Park during Covid, parks and and Career centers went from being caution Taped off.

[donnie rosa] 11:46:38
You know the biggest heartbreak that I experienced.

[donnie rosa] 11:46:41
In my professional world beyond seeing people living in our parks, the way they have been was seeing our you know, our playgrounds, taped off and spaces of social connectivity.

[donnie rosa] 11:46:58
Where you know. We relied on those spaces being closed, and it was just a hard, like caution, tape closed and they went from being shut down and this big fear that was out there to being places of safety whether you were having your child’s Birthday party now in the Park because you

[donnie rosa] 11:47:20
Weren’t having it in your home, which is a trend that has continued and grown rate to needing to seek, shelter in our parks, and during Covid we we saw us Go from Allowing or not allowing but for it being Permissible for people to Seek shelter in

[donnie rosa] 11:47:36
Our parks overnight, to designating space during the day, where people need to are permitted to seek shelter and and essentially have camp until There’s enough Housing available, you know, I think It’s important to Note, that but you know many Folks Transitioned to working from Home and Parks, and Recreation

[donnie rosa] 11:47:57
staff were still on the ground, and actually the pressure on our parks.

[donnie rosa] 11:48:01
Only grew. People were using it in different ways, and they were using it.

[donnie rosa] 11:48:05
You know. Exponentially, more, and so whether it was minted park maintenance, or you know, emptying garbages, or the angst that people you know feel and felt.

[donnie rosa] 11:48:19
During this time, and then you get them into social settings.

[donnie rosa] 11:48:24
And behaviors have changed public behavior has changed, and our Park staff are oftentimes.

[donnie rosa] 11:48:35
There, you know, we called the Parks, and Rec folks, the second responders, but in many cases their first responders in a situation and and they’re dealing with a changed public feeling about as a social feeling about public Spaces, and and the respect Level and the Use of our Spaces has changed

[donnie rosa] 11:48:55
Drastically, you know. Just going back to we are.

[donnie rosa] 11:49:00
We had Strathona Park Encampment during Jerry the Covid Times and dealing with an encampment and and Making, Making the Priority As Betty said that you know it’s a It’s a Make Prioritizing the Health of people in the Camp in the

[donnie rosa] 11:49:21
encampment. Well, also. Understanding, the Angst of the Surrounding Community, and also the people working there, Betty and I were both Going into step as the into Strathcona, Park, 500 Tents and and almost you know as many People, at its Height, Wearing Masks, and and People, there were Scared, and

[donnie rosa] 11:49:44
So it was just a different climate, And I think you know, coming out of that.

[donnie rosa] 11:49:48
We’ve learned that people need that will. They they need that human kindness, but that they’re human rights needed to be centered in our work.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:49:59
I mean, these are the go ahead, betty were you gonna try men, behind that go ahead

[betty lepps] 11:50:03
No i’m just gonna say that the importance of connectivity.

[betty lepps] 11:50:07
And you see it more and more during that time, even though there appeared to be more suffering it.

[betty lepps] 11:50:13
Was the connectivity, they needed. And well many people were going and get vaccinated.

[betty lepps] 11:50:18
What we did was we talked to Vancouver, coastal health.

[betty lepps] 11:50:21
We had them come into the camp, and do several rounds of vaccination, because everybody deserves that and I think we saw more organizations stepping up and coming together, where they may not have gone into the Camp before doing that to Ensure that people had equal opportunity as everybody, else for Health and well, being and

[betty lepps] 11:50:43
not just, because of the situation, that they’re, they’re Experiencing and As Donny said within Parks and Rack during the Covid time.

[betty lepps] 11:50:52
It was about 25% increased use of outdoor space.

[betty lepps] 11:50:57
Because in you know, particularly in in Vancouver, people’s homes may be smaller.

[betty lepps] 11:51:03
So outside gave an opportunity to connect with loved ones to connect with colleagues with, families and so that really supported with mental Health and keeping up those areas, so people can enjoy it brought probably a calmness to their day because as we know with Covid, for having a long stretch of time our human

[betty lepps] 11:51:29
Brain. We see, more mental health issues, because that’s a long period of time to be in distress and to be in the unknown.

[betty lepps] 11:51:37
And so being in distress, and unknown, for so long.

[betty lepps] 11:51:41
But we know what nature does for the body mind and spirit, and so the ability to be able to provide that for people’s health and Well-being whether they’re sheltering in the parks, or whether they’re utilizing the Parts in other ways.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:51:53
And your comment about ceremony is beginning, reinforces that you know that this is a kind of how to find a way, to make this, an exercise and integration of ourselves, in our places it’s it’s tricky I know it’s interesting and one of the things, that I

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:52:09
Gleaned from hearing you folks and watching how you’ve done this because I’ve been there a different iterations as this journey has been going on at with the with the Park Population.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:52:20
Is this idea that you meet people where they are

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:52:25
And I. And so your illustration about you we took the vaccinations into the park.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:52:30
I know, Johnny, that when you were working on Strife Kona, you had multiple daily meetings and rituals and were and the other thing.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:52:38
I would say is this idea of collaboration that somehow, when there was a crisis, somehow, our our jurisdictional fights fella away and we just rolled our Sleeves up

[betty lepps] 11:52:43

[donnie rosa] 11:52:53
Mary, maybe I’ll start, because I know Betty will have wait better things to say than me on this.

[donnie rosa] 11:53:01
But you know, interestingly somebody commented, never waste a good crisis.

[donnie rosa] 11:53:05
Yeah, Betty. And I actually met at Stress Kona Park.

[donnie rosa] 11:53:10
She was working for BC housing. I was working for parks and wreck.

[donnie rosa] 11:53:14
It’s a sign of the times. That Betty is now working in parks and rack that to me, you’re right like talk about breaking down barriers, you know, being on the Parks and Recreation Team coming from the Background that Betty comes from we recognize that you know we

[donnie rosa] 11:53:31
As Parks, and Recreation, Professionals, Don’t have the Experience to work with people who are on House and so bringing Betty into the Fold and and having her Teach, Us and Learn with her has been just Eye opening and and a Gift beyond Beliefs so I’ll stop talking and

[donnie rosa] 11:53:51
We’ll talk with Betty then.

[betty lepps] 11:53:54
Thank you, darling! It’s been a tool for me, as well, and I think throughout my Career and doing community Development work one of the things that I often think of sometimes Chaos, Begets order and I think that’s sort of what has occurred Mary when you’re talking about it took a Crisis and

[betty lepps] 11:54:15
now we’re all working together, and I see that because Vancouver is experiencing to enc simultaneously right now, with Hastings and crab and now ministries, all Levels of government are Participating to See how We can all support each other but most of all how can we support everyone.

[betty lepps] 11:54:37
and as you said Mary, taking people where they’re at, and which is sometimes difficult because everybody wants to put everybody in a group, so They’re houseless let’s, deal with it as a houselessness, issue, when no everybody has their own reason, for being Helpless for being precariously.

[betty lepps] 11:54:58
housed, and so we have to do individual. We have to know what each individual needs.

[betty lepps] 11:55:04
For their support, their wellbeing, and for them to have success. So it’s taking time, and all the ministries that are needing to be involved to look at that system, and how the system may have been very much a part of where people are at today.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:55:24
Betty, I I know that I know we need to talk about systems.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:55:28
We just had a session on transit, and I one thing I wanted to just loop in and it was about transcendent housing.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:55:34
And what was interesting is that Hawaii was with us from the city of Edmonton, and she made a comment not to similar to what you just said Donny, you’re describing Park Rangers or Park, I Don’t know what the name the Noun is but a person that works in a

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:55:47
Park suddenly is becoming a triage person, or is becoming a referral agent, or has to have in the same way we have Dale, Mcphee, the Chief of police and Edmonton joining us at the End of the Broadcast and shortly Peter Slowly the Farmer Chief of Police, in

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:55:59
Ottawa and I know they’re going to talk about the the multi-skilling that needs to happen in terms of urban workforce, and so I’m I’m struck by that that we all have to be able to do several different things and I’m curious about when

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:56:13
we, talk, about system, change, Betty, what frightens me about it is.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:56:18
It feels very bureaucratic to me it feels like, oh, someone’s going to go and change the system.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:56:24
But you too, Betty and Donnie you’re changing the system.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:56:27
There, right on on the Spot, Right

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:56:34
Does that mean no daddy

[betty lepps] 11:56:35
Yeah. Well, no, I was actually speechless. Because I was like, wow, never never seen it.

[betty lepps] 11:56:41
That way, right, you’re doing this work for people, you’re doing the work through Wright space, Lens, You’re doing the Work Through Lived, Experience You’re doing it but you’re absolutely right, but everybody can be a Part, of Changing a System and I Think, that’s, where we begin and I

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:56:45

[betty lepps] 11:57:00
think that’s what Covid has done. Too. It’s allowed us to share our stories in our experience, and learn no different than knowledge keepers that shares.

[betty lepps] 11:57:12
So we can understand the past, so we can do things differently.

[donnie rosa] 11:57:17

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:57:17
Don’t want do you have a thought on that I mean, I doubt you guys wake up in the morning and say, hey, I’m, gonna change the system, but but it feels to me as the person sitting here, at the Canadian Urban institute I feel like we are watching across the country systems, being

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:57:32
disrupted and part of the challenge for us. I think in our role is, how do we take what you’ve learned what you’ve shown is a better approach and get that to be more part of the new approach that more people.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:57:44
Take in the system.

[donnie rosa] 11:57:46
Mary, I think that it’s first of all, thank you.

[donnie rosa] 11:57:51
And it’s you’re right. We don’t wake up that way.

[donnie rosa] 11:57:54
You know. But I I’ve I’ve worked in parks and recreation for over 30 years.

[donnie rosa] 11:58:00
Now and there’s always been an interesting bump up against or integration with social services.

[donnie rosa] 11:58:08
And you know it it kind of it vacillates between well, you know we’re right in there providing connect connection to social services and in some cases providing what some might call a social service right to Nope, we’re going to be parks, and recreation, and we’re going to do you

[donnie rosa] 11:58:26
Know Traditional Parks and Recreation, I think it’s important that we are a nimble industry, and that we do have to adjust to what’s going on people come to our spaces in their time, of need or in their time, of of their choice, their leisure, time, and we

[donnie rosa] 11:58:47
Have to be able to be number with that, and to be able to understand what the needs are.

[donnie rosa] 11:58:53
When we have seniors going in divorce to our programs, we don’t just offer the programming that you know that I want to do not to say that I qualify, but I do you know we, have to adapt to what they want to do and how active they want to be and how social they

[donnie rosa] 11:59:12
Need to be so, you know, we have to be an adaptable industry.

[donnie rosa] 11:59:15
And I think that it’s you know it’s telling right.

[donnie rosa] 11:59:17
Now for you to say that we’re changing things is is great.

[donnie rosa] 11:59:22
To hear, because that’s what we should be

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:59:24
Well, I I feel very strong. You are, and and even with the challenges that continue to present themselves.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:59:29
As you suggest you’ve got Crab Park. Now you’ve got Hastings as well and you know the media, will Glom onto certain aspects of that but you need to know that There’s a whole constituency of people, Building cities, across this country and Participating who watch with great and as you

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 11:59:43
Approach these things differently and compassionately, putting people first from a rights approach and being really imaginative, and just and dropping a lot of judgment, about how people make Choices in their lives, and find themselves, hopefully Appreciating the benefits, the parks, can bring which are multiple if there’s, anything we

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:00:02
Can pull out, of Covid. It’s that parks deliver multiple benefits.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:00:06
You know, anyway? Don. Oh, who’s that Donny

[donnie rosa] 12:00:09
This is Leelland. So she had to make a cameo as well

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:00:12
Hi Leila, hi smart, really really great to have both of you, on we continue to watch with great interest as you work in that collaborative allieship, way in in Vancouver and all the all the important things that you’re drawing from that we really Appreciate you taking some time to be with Us today, as

[betty lepps] 12:00:13
Hi Leila

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:00:30
We think about the next 1,000 days. Nice to see you, Betty, thanks, Donnie always great to have you join the rest of your day.

[betty lepps] 12:00:33
Thank you, thanks, Mary thank you, bye.

[donnie rosa] 12:00:35
Thanks, Mary, see, you

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:00:39
So I’m appreciative of All the animals that are coming on as I say, it just humanizes Us reminds us that we have full lives and we will put Into the Chat some Links to these stories.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:00:52
And you there, is a we did more detailed sessions on the Encampment experience in Vancouver, and in its as it unfolded, and I think that that’s part of the Lessons for us Right is that we did Covid, 100 200 300 300 and




Full Audience
Chatroom Transcript

Note to reader: Chat comments have been edited for ease of readability. The text has not been edited for spelling or grammar. For questions or concerns, please contact with “Chat Comments” in the subject lin

From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at

11:41:04 From Alex Tabascio (CUI) To Everyone:
Betty Lepps — Director of Urban Relationships, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, Vancouver Betty Lepps is the Director of Urban Relationships for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. She previously worked for BC Housing as Regional Director of Supportive Housing/Shelters and co-led the housing of almost 300 people sleeping in Strathcona Park. During her time with BC Housing, Betty worked with over 100 programs and 50 non-profit organizations to provide services to the most vulnerable, equity-denied residents of the Vancouver coastal area. Throughout her career, she has combined her compassionate approach to community engagement with a plethora of experience in policy development and leadership. Betty has worked with Indigenous communities across Canada and the USA; and was instrumental in developing the first Indigenous restorative justice court in Calgary. Her work on driving systemic change for vulnerable populations has been highly lauded across levels of government.
11:41:16 From Alex Tabascio (CUI) To Everyone:
Donnie Rosa — General Manager, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, Vancouver With over 25 years of experience in parks, recreation, and culture operations, Donnie Rosa brings a brand of leadership focused on building a strong team and meaningful relationships with colleagues and community partners. They have worked in mental health and homeless shelters; and have a breadth of experience working in community development, youth and seniors’ programming, as well as the delivery of parks, unique gardens, trails, and open spaces to contribute to community resiliency and climate action. In their prior role as Director of Recreation Services at the Park Board, Donnie was a key member of the team that successfully negotiated the new community centre joint operating agreement. Donnie is a champion of access and equity as a cornerstone to service delivery, with a priority focus on Truth and Reconciliation.
11:41:22 From Carolyn Whitzman To Everyone:
That factoid about electric vehicles being heavier and requiring us to rethink 30 kph speed limits is… deeply concerning!
11:42:17 From Karen DW To Everyone:
tbh, I don’t really want my colleagues to see my home. 1000 days in, it’s still hard to make a well lit “meeting space” in my shared home.
11:43:07 From No No no To Everyone:
The concept of transit and multi mode as essential service and utility vs cars which are utility now is key.
11:44:42 From Robert Plitt To Everyone:
1000 days. Assuming we are living in an ongoing and interconnected collection of crises – is 1000 days a good framework for taking action… or is is 100 days? Can we set expectations for swift solutions?
11:46:18 From Nick Hanson (CUI) To Everyone:
Vancouver Park Board approves exploring co-management of parks with local First Nations
11:46:36 From Carolyn Whitzman To Everyone:
I love this! Co-management of Stanley Park as an act of reconciliation. AND 100 year planning.
11:46:45 From Abby S To Everyone:
Meanwhile Ford is eliminating Green Belt lands. No 100 year plan here in Ontario b
11:47:09 From Zahireen Tarefdar (CUI) To Everyone:
More about the “100 year plan”:
11:47:53 From Downtown Halifax To Everyone:
I would love to know more about places where (undeveloped) land is actually being returned to displaced people (indigenous, black). For instance, will people actually be able to regain homes in Stanley Park?
11:49:08 From Judith nORRIS To Everyone:
I’m sad that the opposite that seemed to happen in Toronto. John Tory etc. moved evicted people living in our public parks.
11:51:17 From Downtown Halifax To Everyone:
Halifax has created designated parks that can host homeless individuals. Park workers have become front line social workers, and I wonder how they are adapting to that role.
11:52:57 From Laura Wall To Everyone:
Park encampments are in London ON news right now:
12:01:39 From Nick Hanson (CUI) To Everyone:
Thanks to that last session’s panellists:
• Betty Lepps—Director of Urban Relationships, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, Vancouver
• Donnie Rosa—General Manager, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, Vancouver