filed under: diversity/ethics
As many as 100 million people — 30 percent of the U.S. population — do not have ready access to the lifesaving and life-enhancing benefits parks and recreation provides.
At NRPA, we are dedicated to building a future where all people — no matter their race, age, income level, identity or ability — have access to and are welcomed into programs, facilities, places and spaces that make their lives and communities great. Because that is what parks and recreation does — it makes our lives and communities great.
Yet, we estimate that as many as 100 million people — 30 percent of the U.S. population — lack access to the lifesaving and life enhancing benefits parks and recreation provides.
Achieving a future where all people have fair and just access to quality parks and recreation requires that we recognize the systemic inequities that have created very different experiences for people. Policies, land-use decisions and design approaches at the federal, state and local level — rooted in racism and discrimination — brought us to where we are today.
Our past is complex and multi-layered, but we need to understand it if we are to make lasting change. To support learning and understanding, NRPA launched a story map to illustrate policies and examples of park inequities throughout U.S. history. We acknowledge our past to reveal both the opportunities and challenges ahead of us.
Published April 2021
This paper outlines ways to achieve two key goals: First, to create career paths for young people; and secondly, to improve the U.S.’ ability to counter, and adapt to climate change, especially in communities that have suffered from environmental injustices.
The Recreational Trails Program directly addresses our desire to put young people to work, provide equitable access to nature, and provide resilient responses to natural disasters
No matter our differences in backgrounds or how we choose to enjoy the great outdoors, trails create common ground that connects us. Access to trails is a privilege we acknowledge and can only safeguard through our actions toward one another.