Research Article

Black Bodies and Green Spaces: Remembering the Eminence of Nature During a Pandemic

Publication Date:

Authors: Jennifer D. Roberts, Shadi Omidvar Tehrani and Gregory N. Bratman


The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed not only the true value of nature and open public spaces, but it reified the presence and persistence of racism in and throughout American institutions. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health officials encouraged people to visit parks and green spaces as a way to be safe against COVID-19 transmission, the toxic presence and persistence of racism experienced by Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) was fully exposed. Through an examination of built, social and natural environments, this chapter will delve into historical and contemporary inequities stemming from structural racism. The toxic interrelationship between race-/class-based privilege and place, as well as its impact on nature and green space access and connection, particularly throughout the pandemic will be critically assessed.