John Henderson

Photo of John Henderson President
Park Rx America
1102 Monroe Street NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20010
Phone: 202-549-8233

Research Disciplines: Research Interests:

connection between nature and human health, green space and park equity, community engagement, green space stewardship, level of service for parks, program evaluation, customer satisfaction

View John's CV

Biographical Sketch

John Henderson, President of the District of Columbia Green Spaces Alliance (Green Spaces for DC) is the former Executive Director of Park Rx America, a Certified Park and Recreation Executive, attorney, and city planner with over 25 years of experience in parks and recreation at the Chicago Park District and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. John earned a Juris Doctor degree from The John Marshall Law School, a Bachelor’s in Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati, a Certificate in Public Performance Measurement from Rutgers University, and certificates in Public Health Fundamentals and Human Health and Nature from the Eppley Institute at Indiana University. John has been an instructor at the Park and Recreation Directors School and served as Chair of the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies.

In 1998 John co-founded archi-treasures a Chicago-based 501(c)(3) non-profit devoted to public participation in the improvement of neighborhoods through collaboration with artists, architects, and landscape architects. In 2010 John co-founded the District of Columbia Green Spaces Alliance, which provides fiscal sponsorship services to persons wanting to create, maintain, and support parks and green spaces. In 2017 he helped Dr. Robert Zarr, a pediatrician based in Washington, DC, found Park Rx America as a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works with healthcare providers to prescribe visits to parks and natural areas for the therapeutic health benefits.

Working in the private and public sectors, John has participated as a project manager and research associate in a variety of public land stewardship and recreation projects involving human resources, strategic planning, master planning, public engagement, accreditation, land planning and stewardship, construction management, design, systems management, survey research, and performance measurement. Recently he has been working with researchers to help determine the human health benefits associated with specific landscape types and guidance for how best to experience those landscapes for optimal therapeutic benefit.

Ongoing and Recent CESU Projects

  • USFS – Developing guidelines for the design and management of forest therapy
  • USFS – Health and Nature Youth and Community Engagement

Other Research

Certificate in Human Health and Natural Environments, Eppley Institute at the University of Indiana, 2020
Certificate Public Health Fundamentals, Eppley Institute at the University of Indiana, 2019
Certificate in Public Performance Measurement, Rutgers University, 2010
Certificate in Public Participation, International Association for Public Participation (IAP2), 2004
Certificate in Mediation Skills, Center for Conflict Resolution, 1997
Total Quality Management Training, Chicago Community Trust – Government Assistance Project, 1992-93
Certified Arbitrator, Circuit Court of Cook County, 1990
Certified Building Official, Council of American Building Officials, 1987
John Marshall Law School, J. D., 1979, admitted to Illinois Bar 1980
Bachelor of Community Planning, University of Cincinnati, OH, Cum Laude

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