Summit Highlights

Connecting with Urban Communities and New Populations

  1. The Groundworks USA and Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance programs are proven avenues to successfully create a National Park (and NP Service) presence in urban communities. The NPS has already infused money to expand these programs; partners can help identify where expansion could take place and leverage these new partnerships for greater public and political park support.
  2. Advance partnership proposal between Corporation for Community and National Service, NPS, and allies to connect at least 100,000 disconnected youth in urban areas and needs of at least 10 urban national parks, resulting in park restoration and skill building/job placement.
  3. Put youth to work in national parks through a Civilian Conservation Corps of the 21st Century. This initiative would provide jobs and help get the youth on a career path.
  4. Expand urban-focused programs whose platforms are built by youth networks (e.g. Natural Leaders Network and Outdoor Nation).
  5. Develop and leverage a national parks constituency within urban areas with an emphasis on mobilizing community-based organizations to influence urban policy-makers.
  6. Increase “Nature Prescriptions” programs within urban areas which increase park prescriptions by health care providers.
  7. Forge proactive connections with new immigrants and veterans: Every new citizen and veteran should get a national park passport
  8. Enlist the help of the Transit in Parks technical assistance center to address built environment barriers for connecting with urban populations.
  9. With 40 percent of DOI staff retiring in the next 5 years, create a volunteer mentorship program for retiring DOI staff to help in urban communities.
  10. Urban park design projects provide an often missed opportunity to cultivate and engage new urban advocates. Maximize the park design process to build support for the 2016 Centennial. (St. Louis Arch project, Jamaica Bay Park project, etc.)

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What Do You Think?

Help us shape an action plan for the national parks’ second century. Please let us know whether we captured the right actions from the summit discussions and whether any are missing. Also please indicate which actions are of the highest priority and which actions the group you represent is willing to take on as a priority.

RK

February 22, 2012

With the many suggestions listed under this heading, priority needs to be accessibility. Not just promoting accessibility as a separate issue but blended in with all other concerns. Disabilities exist in urban areas and can be considered “new populations” but they are not “new”, they just have not been noticed. Connection has to be from residence, travel to the park, and accessibility areas of the park have to be available. One weak segment here will halt the process. Accessibility has to be functional. If it is not functional then accessibility is useless.

mjkellett

February 17, 2012

Expand the National Park System to include more areas closer to major population centers, especially underserved segments of our society. The San Gabriel Mountains Special Resource Study is an example happening right now. This issue needs to be included.

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