Friday, September 06, 2013

National parks trying to appeal to minorities

In an attempt to create interest in national parks, which have struggled in recent years to attract more visitors, the National Park Service is mounting a new publicity campaign aimed at minorities, who have historically shown little interest in visiting the parks, Kirk Johnson reports for The New York Times. Only about 20 percent of park visitors are non-white, and only 10 percent are Hispanic. (NYT photo by Matthew Ryan Williams: American Latino Expeditions visitors at Olympic National Park in Washington state)

"One way the service has been fighting to break through is with a program called American Latino Expeditions...with expenses paid for mostly through corporate donations — part of a multipronged effort to turn the Park Service’s demographic battleship around," Johnson writes. Another group, Girl Trek, "a national nonprofit group, organizes fitness-oriented park hikes for African-Americans."

"New attractions are part of the mix, too," Johnson writes. "National monuments managed by the Park Service have been created in the past few years to recognize more minority figures in American history, like Cesar Chavez, the farm labor organizer, and Harriet Tubman of Underground Railroad fame." (Read more)

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