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NPS Seeking to Bring Minorities into the Parks

September 6, 2013 by   - () Comments Off on NPS Seeking to Bring Minorities into the Parks

The National Park Service is seeking ways to attract more minorities to its parks. Only about one in five visitors to a national park is nonwhite.

In a soul-searching, head-scratching journey of its own, the National Parks Service, the agency that manages some of the most awe-inspiring public places, is scrambling to rethink and redefine itself to the growing number of Americans who do not use the parks in the way that previous — mostly white — generations did.

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, the New York Times reported.

One way the service has been fighting to break through is with a program called American Latino Expeditions, which invited Latinos to visit parks. Groups like theirs went to three parks and recreation areas this summer — participants competed for the spots, with expenses paid for mostly through corporate donations — part of a multipronged effort to turn the Park Service’s demographic battleship around.

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