National Parks Try to Appeal to People of Color New York Times Front Page

Posted: September 6th, 2013

“We’ve been here for two days, walking around [Olympic National Park], and I can’t think of any brown person that I’ve seen,” said Carol Cain, 42, a New Jersey resident of Dominican and Puerto Rican roots . . . .

Only about one in five visitors to a national park site is nonwhite, according to a 2011 University of Wyoming report commissioned by the Park Service, and only about 1 in 10 is Hispanic — a particularly lackluster embrace by the nation’s fastest-growing demographic group. . . .

[T]he reality that going to a [national] park, at least for now, means encountering mostly white people is its own potential barrier. Research by the Park Service says some members of minority groups have said they fear they would feel unwelcome.”

Read the rest of this story in the New York Times . . .

The City Project has been diversifying access to and support for National Parks, monuments, and recreation areas for over a decade.

With diverse allies we submitted public comments to support a new National Recreation Area in the San Gabriel Mountains, building on our work with the San Gabriels Forever campaign. Congresswoman Judy Chu will hold a town hall meeting on September 7, 2013.

We submitted public comments on health and environmental justice along the Los Angeles River, working with nontraditional allies, to the Army Corps of Engineers, NPS, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Robert Garcia will be the keynote speaker on Urban Waterways and Civic Engagement at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum’s 46th Anniversary in Washington, D.C., on September 13, 2013. The greening of the L.A. and San Gabriel Rivers are one of the top 101 priorities in NPS’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative.

We have fought sequester budget cuts to provide green jobs and keep National Parks open for all.

We support expansion of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to serve the diverse people of the Los Angeles region.

Our Transit to Trails program take inner city children on fun, educational, and healthy mountain, river, and beach trips, working with NPS, the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy, Nike, Anahuak Youth Soccer Association, and others.

We celebrated the dedication of the Cesar Chavez National Monument with President Barack Obama, then Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, NPS Director Jon Jarvis, and then Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. This is the first national monument dedicated to a Latino born after the 1700s, according to NPS.

Photo by Sam Garcia, age 16, for The City Project.