Family event encourages diversity at National Parks

National Parks Conservation Association members pose with InterIM CDA and Outdoor Afro to encourage diversity in visitors to national Parks. (Photo by Alex Garland)

Outdoor organizations are hosting a free family event this Sunday at El Centro De La Raza to encourage diversity in attendance at national parks and to mark the 50th anniversary of North Cascades National Park.

National Parks Conservation Association and 30 other groups are bringing a taste of Washington’s national parks, rivers and trails to Beacon Hill from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday Oct. 14.

The celebration, called “Choose Your Adventure: Trails, Rivers and the North Cascades’ 50th” will bring park rangers to answer any questions about national parks, short films about national parks parks, and people offering traveling tips and knowledge about trails and rivers.

Other organizations promoting the love of the outdoors will be represented at the event. Woodland Park Zoo’s porcupine mascot will welcome families from 3 to 4 p.m  West Sound Wildlife Shelter will also bring in animals for visitors.

Data suggest that people of color visit national parks much less than white people, for a variety of reasons, according to the George Wright Society, a group that promotes public lands. The group says that parks have become increasingly difficult to access because of the high expenses of the ticket, travel and equipment. The group also said cultural stereotypes and discrimination play a role in keeping people of color away from outdoor activities.

The National Parks Conservation Association aims to change that with Sunday’s event at Beacon Hill.

“America’s public lands have been out of reach for many communities. Since the beginning of the national park system, many national parks, rivers, and trails have been sanctuaries for folks with the money and privilege,” said event spokesperson Maria Batayola.

October marks the 50th birthday for North Cascades National Park, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and the National Trails System Act, marking the sustained efforts to preserve and bring the best of trails, river, and North Cascades National Park to the public.

The event is free and light refreshments will be served. Several food trucks will be available for families to purchase lunch and dinner.

Event Details

Choose Your Adventure: Wildlife, Trails, Rivers & the North Cascades 50th will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14 at El Centro De La Raza, 2524 16th Ave. South, Seattle, WA 98144. The Beacon Hill Link light rail station is less than a block from El Centro de la Raza. Street parking is available.


Correction: an earlier version of this article did not attribute a quotation to Maria Batayola. This omission has been corrected.


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