Landscape Architecture Program Director Awarded Robert Wood Johnson Grant

Kimberlee Douglas, Jefferson’s landscape architecture program director, has recently joined the next cohort of Interdisciplinary Research Leaders with a Robert Wood Johnson grant supporting the Park in a Truck initiative. 

This three-year initiative will enable Douglas to explore how, and to what extent, participating in the Park Ambassador program impacts the lives of participants, who range in age from 11 to 13 years old. The ambassador program is designed to teach them the value of their neighborhood, the value of nature and the value of their input and participation in planning their parks and community.

“We are so honored to receive this grant as we are committed to researching structural racism and its impact on the most vulnerable in our society: children,” says Douglas. “Our program can combat negative racial socialization and boost self-esteem and mental health. We’re excited to see the data. This is a great opportunity for Jefferson students to participate in innovative and transdisciplinary research that combines design and health to create environments where we can all thrive!”

Dean Barbara Klinkhammer notes that receiving the Robert Wood Johnson Fellowship Grant is an important recognition of Douglas’ continued support and advocacy for underserved communities.

“Building on the successes of the Park in a Truck program, the grant will be instrumental in researching the value of nature in counteracting the harms of structural racism and its impact on children,” says Klinkhammer. “We are proud of Professor Douglas’ work in the Philadelphia community improving health, well-being and equity outcomes through active community engagement.”

The grant team includes community partner Val Gay and Russ McIntire, a population health professor, who will work with students in all aspects of the research.