Lealani Boykin

ERN (2017)

Partnerships for Parks Program at City Parks Foundation

jersey city, New Jersey

Aloha e ELP!

I'm grateful to be part of this special network of honest-to-good people trying to make the planet better.  My love for the environment came at a super young age, in my homeland of Hawai‘i.  We Hawaiians honor the ‘aina (the land) and the wai and kai (waters and sea).  There's a humility that came over me as a child as I gazed reverently into the ocean or sifted sand through my fingers.  That biophilia paired with a nurturing culture and ‘ohana set me on my way toward pursuing harmony for us and the earth.

Fast forward 30 odd years: studying environmental design led toward an interest in urban planning and a crazy lucky internship with the National Park Service.  NPS colleagues and rural communities taught me the power of people and well-designed process in planning and building long distance trails (and other community resources).  Moving to NYC revealed complexities I never dreamed existed, and uncovered both personal potential and boundaries.  I worked closely with communities and we partnered, advocated, reached way out, listened hard, failed, triumphed, raised money, and built greenways, playgrounds, and meaningful connections.

I now spend my time as a visual leadership and collaboration specialist, babysitter of a very special little man, researcher, learner, friend, and partner.  I'm dedicated to building capacity in individuals and organizations in the social impact sector, helping them to tap the potential they have to help them leave a friendly footprint where they tread.