The Parks, Communities, and Health (PCH) Research Group is located in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We are a group of scholars dedicated to understanding how parks and other green spaces enhance health and well-being for various communities including marginalized groups, urban neighborhoods, and rural populations. Our Group fosters interdisciplinary collaborations to examine connections between people and their environments in ways that can advance theory and inform policymaking on recreation, public health, conservation, and community planning. Through our seminar series, collaborative research projects, and social gatherings, we strive to create a supportive research community in which students and faculty work together to positively impact human health, social and environmental justice, and quality of life for all.


Areas of Interest

  • Parks and protected areas
  • Connections formed between people and places
  • Connections between urban green space and human health, wellbeing, and cognitive function
  • Environmental justice and health equity
  • Community involvement in land use decision-making
  • Regional and landscape scale conservation
  • Urban land vacancy and community revitalization
  • Virtual reality and other simulations of nature
  • Nature-based health interventions
  • Green gentrification