Press Release Oct 11, 2016

Results of LGBT Theme Study Points to More Inclusive Future for America’s National Parks

New National Park Service theme study identifies many nationally significant LGBT stories and sites.

BACKGROUND: The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) theme study is part of a broader initiative under the Obama Administration to ensure that the National Park Service reflects and tells a more complete story of the people and events responsible for building this nation. And specifically, the places and events associated with the story of LGBT Americans. The study began in May 2014, with Secretary Jewell working in partnership with numerous scholars across the country to examine and identify places in America that deserve inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places or are worthy of national monument or historic landmark status. The study was financed by philanthropist Tim Gill and the Gill Foundation. Mr. Gill was recognized by National Parks Conservation Association as a national park champion in 2015 for his work with the Park Service to include the history of LGBT Americans within the National Park System. More about the theme study findings can be found here: http://bit.ly/2dO4DL8.

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for National Parks Conservation Association

“There are places in America so powerful, they helped shape our nation’s history and culture, and must never be forgotten. Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park in New York City’s Greenwich Village is one such place, and rightfully became our nation’s first national park site dedicated to LGBT history earlier this summer.

“The National Park Service’s theme study efforts has identified many nationally significant LGBT stories and sites. And together we can work toward ensuring these places are protected and their history is told.

“For 100 years, our national parks have protected America’s favorite and most important natural, historic and cultural sites, but they face significant challenges that jeopardize their long-term future, including inadequate budgets. Thankfully, generous donations from private parties like Tim Gill and the Gill Foundation have helped, but we can’t always rely on donors to make up for Congress’s failings to adequately fund our parks.

“In this historic centennial year of the National Park Service, we have made great progress in ensuring our national parks better represent our country’s diverse population. Two-thirds of our more than 400 national park sites are dedicated to cultural and historic significance, and with the results of this study, we know there are more opportunities ahead. We look forward to working to add more untold stories like Stonewall’s to the National Park System.”

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About National Parks Conservation Association Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.