The City Project and a diverse and growing alliance are working to diversify access to and support for National Parks by submitting public comments on (1) the Strategic Plan for the United States Department of the Interior for the next five years at the national level, and (2) the San Gabriel Watershed and Mountains Special Resource Study. Think globally, act locally. The alliance includes: Robert Bracamontes, Acjachemen Nation, Juaneño Tribe; California Pan Ethnic Health Network; Coastwalk California; Latino Coalition for a Healthy California; and Mujeres de la Tierra.
The Department of Interior and the National Park Service should implement the following recommendations:
1. Provide local green jobs through Civilian Conservation Corps-type programs, including jobs for youth of color and low income youth, that will also improve parks, recreation, and the environment. This is one solution, drawing on New Deal lessons, to help get the country back to work while the nation has the highest unemployment levels in 25 years and probably since the Great Depression.
2. Provide Transit to Trails programs to take inner city children on fun, educational and healthy trips to mountains, beaches, rivers and other natural green space throughout the nation, for no or low cost. Transit to Trails should enrich their education about land, water, wildlife, and cultural history, and emphasize the importance of physical activity and healthy eating for life-long health.
3. Provide more park and historical sites that preserve the stories and resources of diverse people for this and future generations. More sites should facilitate an experience that weaves the stories of diverse people faithfully, completely and accurately. Interior and NPS should provide leadership for the protection and interpretation of diverse sites. Interior and NPS should stimulate and provoke a greater understanding of, and dialogue on, civil rights, democracy and freedom. These are lessons learned from the best practice example at Manzanar National Historic Site.
4. Provide programs to improve human health, including programs for physical activity and healthy eating to reduce obesity. Human health includes more than reducing obesity and diabetes, and programs should also contribute to the full development of the person and community through youth development, gang and crime prevention, and green jobs.
5. Interior and NPS should affirmatively address proactive compliance with equal justice laws in the strategic plan, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its regulations and parallel state laws. This includes Interior promoting equal justice by federal agencies such as NPS, and by recipients of federal funds such as the state of California and private organizations. Each of the recommendations described here promote equal justice, democracy and livability for all.
6. Interior and NPS should implement standards to measure progress and equity and hold public officials accountable in each of these areas.
Download the public comments on the strategic plan for Interior and NPS here.
Download the public comments on the San Gabriel plan here.
Download the attachments for both public comments here.
Manzanar National Historic Site