The City Project is proud to call National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis a friend. Director Jarvis is a friend of ours. He is a friend of the people. Director Jarvis has provided unprecedented leadership for parks, recreation, monuments, and health resources that reflect the changing face of the nation. For example, the Cesar Chavez National Monument is the first national park to celebrate a Latino born after the 1700s. The Edmund Pettus Bridge celebrates the Civl Rights Revolution. The Honouliuli National Monument celebrates the fragility of Civil Rights and commemorates the site of a nearly forgotten internment camp that held innocent Japanese-American civilians including US citizens, along with thousands foreign prisoners, during World War II. The Belmont Paul National Monument marks the site of epicenter in the struggle for women’s rights. The Stonewall Uprising is a milestone in the quest for LGBT rights. Monuments protecting Native American values include the Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and Castle Mountains National Monuments in California. NPS provides best practices for using environmental justice and civil rights tools to expand access to parks, recreation, and healthy living through its studies for the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, and for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area expansion in Rim of the Valley. President Barack Obama emphasized that places for children of color and low income children to run free, breathe fresh air, experience nature, and learn about their environment is an issue of social justice when he dedicated the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Director Jarvis launched the influential Healthy Parks, Healthy People US initiative. Every Kid in a Park works with local Transit Trails programs to take children of color and low income children on fun, healthy, and educational trips to parks, mountains, beaches, rivers, and islands.
Challenges remain. Diverse allies have submitted public comments on the proposed Director’s Order to improve gender equality, and on the draft 2016-2020 Environmental Justice Strategic Plan.
The Next100 Coalition has worked with Director Jarvis to develop a vision and policy recommendations for a more inclusive system of national parks and other public lands. The Coalition of diverse leaders from civil rights, environmental justice, conservation and community organizations, including The City Project, will continue to work with Director Jarvis’s successor.
Director Jarvis’s last day with the National Park Service is January 3. His departure is a loss for park advocates everywhere. We celebrate his career with a heart felt “Thank you.”
Photo by NPS intern Ashley Philips L to R David Moore, Ken Brodie, FWS Kim Lambert, NPS Director Jon Jarvis, TCP Robert García, Michael Reynolds, Brian Joyner, DOI Cheryl Kelly. All others NPS.