Say Hello to Barton Robison!
Barton Robison has been working with Willamette Partnership since 2018. First, as an intern, then as a contractor, and now back in the fold as a Project Manager, shared between WP and the Oregon Public Health Institute, and as Director of the Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative. We are thrilled to have Barton on the team bringing enthusiasm, energy, and positivity to all of our work!
To (re)introduce him, we asked him a couple of questions about himself and the health & nature work to share with you all.
How would you describe your role in the Health & Nature sector?
I’m a connector, bringing people from all different organizations and sectors together to work toward common goals.
How would you describe your work to someone unfamiliar with the significance between health & nature?
So much of our health—physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional—is affected by the environments in which we find ourselves. If we’re not taking care of our water, the air, the flora and fauna around us, then we’re creating health problems for ourselves and our communities. The flipside of that is if we are being good stewards of our resources and working to improve the environment, we’re also improving the health of the surrounding community.
What’s your favorite outdoor activity?
I know it’s basic, but there’s really not a nicer way to spend a day than floating down a river with some cold drinks and good friends.
Biggest “win” in your work so far?
Some of the work that came out of our adaptive camping collaborative was used to secure $500,000 in ADA improvements for State Parks this past legislative session, which is pretty cool!
If you could be any plant what would you be, where, and why?
I’d be Audrey II, the mischievous venus fly-trap from Little Shop of Horrors who seeks world domination. Not because I want power, mostly just to hang out with Bill Murray and Rick Moranis.
Describe yourself (or your work) in 3 words
Compassionate, people-focused, curious, and not that good at counting to three
What gets you up in the morning?
Usually, my dog, who sits on top of me and then demands belly rubs around 6:00 am.
In a box of crayons, what color would you define yourself as?
I’m the Health & Outdoors guy, so I’ve gotta go with forest green.
What drew you to this work and why is it significant?
I had some pretty serious mental health issues in college, and being able to retreat to wilderness and find my place in nature truly helped save my life. My ultimate purpose in this work is to find ways to open up the healing powers of nature to everyone so they can be happy and healthy.
What is one of your goals for this next year in Health & Nature?
I want to keep expanding our network and find ways to pay more people to participate in the health/outdoors sphere around the state. If our team grows to three full-time employees by this time next year, it would be a dream come true!