We’re excited to announce the renewal of our ongoing work with the National Park Foundation (NPF), which helps protect wildlife and park lands, preserve history and culture, educate and engage youth, and connect people everywhere to the wonder of more than 420 parks across the country. When we started our journey together in 2018, we were eager to think about new ways to use technology to encourage outdoor exploration, especially in places that are lesser known and often close to home.
Today, we’re announcing that we will continue working together, and will be focusing our work on NPF’s Outdoor Exploration initiative through the ParkVentures program, which supports equity-focused outdoor leaders and organizations in bringing people together for joy-filled and meaningful experiences in parks.
ParkVentures is integral to NPF’s mission to connect people everywhere to the wonder of parks. With ParkVentures, NPF joins numerous efforts across the country to make national parks and public lands more accessible and welcoming to everyone.
In its inaugural year, the ParkVentures program is supporting projects that focus on the following core themes that leaders in outdoor recreation and equity spaces identify as barriers:
Representation: A lack of representation of historically excluded communities among visitors, staff, volunteers, and in materials used to raise awareness about public lands. A lack of representation prevents people from seeing themselves in parks and feeling a sense of belonging.
Accessibility: A lack of understanding for the spectrum of information and accommodations needed for people, including people with disabilities, to participate in the outdoors. A lack of accessibility inhibits participation and prevents people from feeling a sense of belonging.
Interpretation: A lack of diverse perspectives in the stories shared and historical figures featured in parks. A lack of interpretation prevents people from having a broad understanding of history, seeing themselves reflected in parks, and understanding how parks connect to their personal identities and lives.
We are thrilled to continue working with the National Park Foundation to support affinity spaces and promote access and a sense of belonging in parks so that more people can experience the social, mental, and physical health benefits of spending time outside.
Learn more about NPF and how you can support America’s national parks.
– Yennie Solheim, Director of Social Impact