National Parks celebrate Latino Conservation Week
Visit a national park during Latino Conservation Week and camp under the stars, go canoeing, or participate in sunset walks! Many events are happening at national parks across the country from July 16 to July 24 to create opportunities for Latinos to express their passion for the outdoors.
Launched by Hispanic Access Foundation in 2014, the nine-day event is designed to break down barriers to the Latino population’s enjoyment of public lands, encourage new opportunities for, and outreach to, this community to use public lands, and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards. Now in its third year, the theme for Latino Conservation Week 2016 is “Enjoying and Conserving our Earth.”
The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation are joining forces with Hispanic Access Foundation to spotlight events taking place in national parks during the week as part of the centennial celebration of the National Park Service. As part of the #FindYourPark and #EncuentraTuParque movement, the parks’ participation in Latino Conservation Week invites everyone – especially the Latino community – to discover their own national park experience.
“We are thrilled to be a part of Latino Conservation Week, and to support efforts by Hispanic Access Foundation and its partners to invite the Latino community to Find Your Park,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “As we look ahead to the second century, we want everyone to find their own special connections to the incredible places that are our national parks.”
Events taking place in national parks during the week include “Share Your Story/Comparte Tu Historia!” at Everglades National Park in south Florida, camping at Gateway National Recreation Area in Brooklyn, N.Y., a guided hike at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in southern California, and an evening bike tour at the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, DC.
“Latino Conservation Week fosters the Latino community’s passion for the outdoors and helps introduce them to new sites and opportunities to enjoy and protect our national parks,” said Maite Arce, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation. “Through collaboration, we can encourage more Latinos to access and enjoy these locations, which is critical to building future stewards and advocates for these treasured spaces. HAF and its diverse partners – including national and community-based groups – appreciate the support of the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation.”
“By offering many different ways to experience the National Park System, Latino Conservation Week highlights the essence of the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. “Together with incredible park partners like Hispanic Access Foundation, we are connecting more and more communities across the country to their national parks and National Park Service programs. Whether it’s someone’s first time visiting a park or a frequent visitor, our goal is to share the idea that parks can be welcoming places to recreate, learn, and explore a passion.”
The series of events will also include programs that highlight the work of students in the Latino Heritage Internship Program. The program is a joint effort by the National Park Service, Hispanic Access Foundation and Environment for the Americas to give Latino college students the opportunity to intern in national parks and National Park Service offices. Latino Conservation Week activities supported by interns encourage learning and fun for the whole community. Some of these activities will be held in Boston National Historical Park in Massachusetts, San Juan Island National Historical Park north of Seattle, Washington, Pecos National Historic Park near Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Lake Mead National Recreation Area east of Las Vegas, Nevada.
The organizations will use social media to share Latino Conservation Week events with people around the world, using #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque, #LatinoConservationWeek, and #LCW2016.
- Saguaro National Park: Stewardship at Saguaro National Park
- Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area: Guided Hike at Rocky Oaks Pond Trail
- Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park: Hike with a Ranger/Collecting Scientific Data on Sequoias
- Redwood National and State Parks: Redwood Park Bioblitz
- Great Sand Dunes National Park: Hiking Great Sand Dunes
District of Columbia
- National Mall and Memorial Parks: National Mall Evening Bike Tour
- Rock Creek Park: Picnic, Hike, and Activities
- Biscayne National Park: Community Day on July 16, Community Day on July 23, Diving with a Purpose, Boating Education Class
- Everglades National Park: Share Your Story/Comparte Tu Historia!
- Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve: Dare To Explore
- Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park: Hike & Picnic
- Lowell National Historical Park: Latino Recipe Exchange
- Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation: Latino History
- Boston National Historical Park: Walking Tour of the Charlestown Navy Yard
- Lake Mead National Recreation Area: Invasive Tamarisk Removal
- Pecos National Historical Park: Nature Trail Scavenger Hunt
- Gateway National Recreation Area — Floyd Bennett Field: Camping Under the Brooklyn Sky
- Independence National Historical Park: Pop-Up Art Show
- San Antonio Missions National Historical Park: Mission San Jose Artifact Interpretation
- San Juan Island National Historical Park: Sunset Hike to Young Hill
- Grand Teton National Park: Untold Stories, and Pura Vida Paddling