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More Than Lip Service

Our Role in Helping to Increase Justice, Equity, Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion in Parks, Trails, and Open Spaces
















Click the screenshot to view our full statement.

For the Parks Foundation, our mission to “protect and enhance our communities' livability through public engagement, education, and the sustainability of our parks, open spaces, and trails” will never be fulfilled until systemic racism is addressed and people of color and marginalized communities are safe to explore and enjoy the parks we all hold dear. There are layers upon layers of injustice and while we may not be able to address them all, we will do what we can to eliminate these barriers.

Internally, we also know there's a lot more we can be doing to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion on our team. Countless studies indicate teams made up of folks from different backgrounds make a stronger difference in communities and make an impact in each others' lives.

So here's what we're doing so far.

Hiring and Onboarding:

  • Creating a candidate rubric for all individuals that apply to AmeriCorps and staff positions at the Parks Foundation. 

  • Editing all position descriptions to best reflect the needs of our community and ensure increased access and inclusivity.


  • Communicating accessibility and difficulty levels of parks, trails, and open spaces where we host programs, and doing what we can to provide accommodations for folks who need or want them.

  • Listing the type of trail surface we host programs at on our website so that differently-abled folks can research these spaces before heading to programs.

  • Working to build partnerships with community organizations and businesses that serve a wide variety of constituencies. If you want to connect with us, contact Heidi Anderson at 

  • Educating participants about the indigenous communities that are the original stewards of this land and have called this region home since time immemorial.

  • Focusing on interpretive themes that address social and environmental injustice.

  • Offering accommodations and accepting feedback to make programs more accessible to all populations.

  • Integrating JEDAI initiatives and themes into our interpretive programs.


  • You do not have, nor have you ever had, to be a citizen to participate in science, attend our programs, or share your story. We have stopped using the phrase citizen science and instead say community science to make this abundantly clear.

Internal Policies:

  • Revising our employee, volunteer, and AmeriCorps handbook to go above and beyond federal discrimination and harassment laws. No matter who you are or where you come from, you deserve to feel safe and included.

  • Inviting our team to use their personal pronouns and include them in their team bios, email signatures, and name tags, so others may feel safe to do so as well.

  • Working with consulting groups and governing bodies to provide our team with a variety of diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings.

Additional Resources:

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We are always striving to do better and know that our team doesn't have all the answers. We all have blind spots and are constantly learning how to be and do better. If you have suggestions, feedback, or would just like to have a conversation about environmental justice, we would be grateful to hear from you. 

We're listening.

Thanks for submitting!

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