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Panel 1 Spotlight: Schools & Stormwater Symposium

An Opportunity for Schools to Go Green

On Thursday May 19th, Council for Watershed Health in partnership with LA County Watershed Coordinators will host the Schools and Stormwater Symposium: A Multi-benefit Opportunity. Our exciting event will highlight how collaboration between school districts and water agencies can reimagine schoolyards as a site for broader community wellness and change. It underscores the importance of utilizing schoolyards as viable sites for stormwater project development with multiple community benefits and how to capitalize on the Safe Clean Water Program (Measure W).

Panel 1 will highlight the evidence-based benefits of school greening and stormwater capture project development. Panelists will discuss how school greening and stormwater capture projects can benefit our students, faculty, the surrounding community, and regional watersheds. The panel will introduce the opportunity to use stormwater capture infrastructure at schools as a point of entry for meeting these goals for student wellbeing, curriculum connections, and regional benefits.

Join us and be inspired to reimagine your community!

Facilitator – Mikaela Randolph, she/her

Senior Watershed Specialist, Heal the Bay

Central Santa Monica Bay Watershed Coordinator

Mikaela Randolph is a Senior Watershed Specialist with Heal the Bay, she also serves as one of the watershed coordinators for the Central Santa Monica Bay. In this role, Mikaela performs outreach and engagement to Angelenos on the importance of water quality and water supply and champions projects that offer multi-benefits and nature-based solutions specifically in under-resourced communities. Mikaela believes L.A. County's Safe Clean Water program offers an opportunity for schools and school districts to capture stormwater and increase green space on their campuses offering benefits for students, staff and the community..

Claire Latané, she/her

Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, Cal Poly Pomona

Claire Latané, MLA, ASLA, SITES AP, is a Professor in Landscape Architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) with 15 years of practical experience. Her work connects landscape architecture and neuroscience research with design strategies to support public health, equity, and climate resilience. In 2017, Claire was selected as an inaugural Fellow in Innovation and Leadership by the Landscape Architecture Foundation to explore school design strategies to support mental health and well-being. Her award-winning book, Schools That Heal: Design with Mental Health in Mind, was published by Island Press in June 2021.

Kirsten Schwarz, she/her

Associate Professor, UCLA

Kirsten Schwarz is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Urban Planning and Environmental Health Sciences at UCLA. Using a transdisciplinary systems approach her research aims to understand how the ways in which we build and shape cities affects environment, health, and justice. Dr. Schwarz’s current interdisciplinary collaborations focus on community-engaged approaches to soil science and equity-centered heat resilience planning.

Jaime Zaplatosch, she/her

Senior Vice President, Green Schoolyards Children & Nature Network

In her role at C&NN, Jaime Zaplatosch supports cities across the U.S. in developing and implementing city-wide, equity-based nature connection initiatives to support thriving communities. Jaime works with partners around the world toward a vision that all communities have access to green schoolyards by 2050. Jaime’s career has focused on engagement with residents and youth where they live to create the communities that they want. She has extensive knowledge in the field of urban greening and community development projects with experience in strategy, community engagement, partnership building, program development, fundraising, and conservation. Jaime was born, raised and currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a Master of Education degree from DePaul University in Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts from Prescott College in Arizona. Jaime connects to nature wherever she is, and can be found running or hiking on the trails with her daughter and dog.

This symposium was made possible through the collaboration of Watershed Coordinators in LA County. Represented organizations include Council for Watershed Health, Day One, Heal the Bay, Melina Sempill Watts Consulting LLC, and TreePeople


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