Photo Credit: Teresa Baker

Youth, Equity and Inclusion: The Next Generation of the National Park Service

The California Outdoor Engagement Coalition collaborated with the National Park Service, Groundwork Richmond, African American Explorations, Latino Outdoors, The Trail Posse, and the Crissy Field Center (Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy) to put on Youth Equity and Inclusion: The Next Generation of the National Park Service Convening on August 10, 2016. The David Brower Center generously donated the use of their space for the gathering.

The day was full of dialogue between park managers, youth, and the general public to discuss hopes and strategies for creating a more diverse and inclusive outdoor community, by combating existing barriers within underrepresented communities accessing our public lands, ultimately shaping what the next 100 years of the National Park Service should look like.

The intention of the gathering was to create a space for bridge building and direct interaction between youth, park managers, community organizations, and the public through meaningful discussions and presentations. By using a Model UN structure, the participants had space to discuss ways that parks can be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive of youth and underrepresented populations. We closed out the day with the youth sharing some of their recommendations with the park managers, who made pledges of action towards promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in their National Parks.