Diversity in the National Park System

For more than a decade, NPCA has recognized and worked to address the importance of diversity in the National Park System. More than a dozen years ago, we ran one of the first articles in National Parks magazine about the need to ensure a diverse park system. The article stressed that attracting a more diverse audience was vital to ensuring that the national parks remain relevant to a changing America.

NPCA through National Parks magazine has done its best to advance this conversation with our members and other key audiences. The dialogue is not always comfortable, but it is always purposeful and vital to the future of the parks.

Some of the articles that have appeared in the magazine have regaled readers with stories about Native American prisoners who were held at Castillo de San Marcos and the art they created during their incarceration; about the African-American pilots who flew during World War II and whose heroic contributions to that effort are commemorated at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site; about the hundreds of thousands of Japanese Americans held at Manzanar, one of ten internment camps on American soil during World War II; and about the struggles of the civil rights movement as told in a variety of stories focusing on Little Rock High School, Martin Luther King, Jr., Selma to Montgomery, and Harpers Ferry.

This is just a small sampling of the number of articles that can be found in past issues of the magazine. And it is also a small sampling of some of the historic treasures that can be found within the more than 400 units of our National Park System.

Sadly, far too few people are aware of the vital role the Park Service plays in telling the whole of America’s history. A properly funded, well-managed and well-maintained National Park System could more deliberately elevate all of America’s history to its proper place in our collectively diverse cultural memory.

National Parks Articles

  • Untold Stories

    The Park Service strives to tell the history of all Americans, but one group has gone almost entirely overlooked.

  • Divine Providence

    The 17th-century minister Roger Williams risked his life to be the first American to preach religious freedom.

  • The Other Side of the Clouds

    Returning to the National Parks

  • The Way Home

    Returning to the National Parks

  • Lost and Found

    College students make a stunning discovery that benefits Maggie Walker National Historic Site.

  • The View From Above

    Photographer George Masa isn't as well known as Ansel Adams, but his lens helped establish Great Smoky Mountains National Park 75 years ago.

  • American Woman

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton's great, great granddaughter looks back at the legacy her ancestor left her, and hopes to pass her story on to future generations.

  • An Industrial Revolution

    In Lowell, Massachusetts, one revolution plants the seeds for yet another.

  • Along Asphalt Trails

    A writer's visits to the Grand Canyon and Yosemite offer a different perspective on the typical park experience.

  • Diving With a Purpose

    In Biscayne National Park, African-American divers connect with an elusive past.

  • Pushing Boundaries

    Across the Rio Grande from Big Bend National Park, Mexico is taking a vastly different approach to land conservationand we might just learn something from it.

  • A Turnaround at Grand Portage

    An Indian tribe and a national park unit find common ground.

  • Q&A - Looking Back

    A prisoner of the Japanese-American internment camp at Minidoka recalls his time there, 60 years ago.

  • A Silent Explosion

    New legislation could put a forgotten naval site on the National Park System map.



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