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Study: Parks Plans Should Reflect All Cultures

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May 6, 2013 by   Leave a Comment

ABC/Univision previously detailed some of the reasons minorities are reluctant to travel to parks, and they range from fears about safety to a lack of transportation.

Some of those concerns are difficult to tackle, and looming budget cuts don’t help the situation either. But advocates of increasing the diversity of park visitors say there are steps the park service needs to take if they want a future, ABC News reported.

John Griffith, a supervisor with California Conservation Corps, an agency that gives young people who might not otherwise have the opportunity a chance to work outdoors, says simply adding more picnic tables at parks would be a good start.

“If you think about a typical white family, there are four people in that family and they need one picnic table,” he said. “But when Latin American families come, they often come with grandma, grandpa, aunts and uncles and one table is not enough.”

Why not just rent multiple campsites? Park planners might ask that question but if they included Latinos in the planning process, they’d have an answer before it became a problem.

Latino families don’t want to be split up into different sites. They want a bunch of tables in one place where they can all be together. It might not sound like a huge drawback, but it contributes to the sense that their preferred style of vacationing is not considered and that is a big issue.

“If you have a Latino and black population, then you should make sure to include those user groups in the planning of parks,” Griffith said. “If I was planning a park, I’d want the urban population to have access, so I’d run bus lines, and I would have multiple tables for extended family groups. If you’re engaging user groups with the design, I think you have much higher engagement.”

Spanish-language trail signs would also help, as would including stories about more than just the white settlers and native populations in park exhibits.

That sounds easy, right? Except it’s not really happening.

To read the entire article on Woodall’s Campground Management click here.

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