Welcome, Tatiana Dierwechter! Tatiana joined Greenbelt Land Trust’s Board in 2018 and she brings with her a unique background and expertise in community health. She was asked how her public health experience influences her and her family’s love for the outdoors and how this inspired her to get involved with Greenbelt. Read the interview below to learn more about Tatiana.
Tell us more about yourself and your role in public health
I am the Health Policy and Prevention Manager at Benton County Health Services where I work to advance collaborative community health initiatives. I have held volunteer leadership positions with Old Mill Center for Children and Families and Corvallis Parks and Recreation Board. Greenbelt well understands that this work cannot happen solely through the public sector and that partnerships must include meaningful engagement of non-profit and other sectors.
What inspired you to get involved with Greenbelt Land Trust?
I accidentally connected with Greenbelt through my public health work that addresses the social factors, such as access to education and the outdoors, that impact people’s health. My community health work is more than just a job. On professional and personal levels, I am interested in recreation and open spaces and how people access them. I was inspired to get involved with Greenbelt to strengthen collaborations between cross-sector partners. Greenbelt is a strong leader and supportive partner in this work and I am excited to learn more. I look forward to helping to build new relationships with people and organizations and to be part of the many resources that Greenbelt provides to our community.
What draws you to the outdoors?
I have a deep appreciation for the year-round access to nature in Oregon. Having grown up in Iowa and transplanting myself in the mid-Willamette Valley 11 years ago, I am able to expose my teenaged son and daughter to the many outdoors opportunities here that I didn’t have as a child growing up in the Mid-West. I am thrilled to be able to run local trails all year long.
Where do you see the link between community health, the outdoors, and Greenbelt’s work?
Being connected to Greenbelt through my role on the City Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, I was immediately drawn to the concept of community conservation that links people, especially racial and ethnic minorities, English language learners, low-income families, and people with disabilities, to accessible outdoor amenities by removing barriers. I see strong links between the outdoors, community health, and Greenbelt’s work. Being near rivers, the mountains, and the coast, we live in a wonderland- a magical place for all to enjoy. I value my family having access to these natural wonders and she wants the same for other families.
What is your favorite local natural area or trail and why is it special to you?
On any given Sunday, I run trails along Mulkey Ridge or the Lewisburg Saddle. On a rainy day, it is especially nice to run under forest cover. It provides a natural umbrella giving me no excuse not to run! I love to train with friends for races. I’ve participated in the Hood to Coast relay race and the Portland Half and Full Marathons. I enjoy getting high up in elevation, like on Marys Peak, where I can see for miles from incredible vistas. Up here I feel like I can be anywhere in the world, and I am delighted knowing that I live right here in this wonderful community.