Press Release May 29, 2014

Parks for All of Us: National Park Service Launches LGBT Study Initiative

Statement by Clark Bunting, President and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association

“With continued inroads towards reflecting our shared and diverse heritage, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) applauds the National Park Service for launching a study of the people, places, and events related to the history and culture of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. None of our 401 national park sites currently have a central connection to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender history, despite the many people and places across the country that contribute to the American story, from San Francisco to New York, Chicago and beyond.

“NPCA also commends philanthropist Tim Gill for his generous support in underwriting this multi-year study.

“The LGBT theme study is one of several recent initiatives that follow the common thread of taking deliberate steps to include more diverse stories within our National Park System. The National Park Service welcomed its first national monument dedicated to a contemporary Latino, Cesar E. Chavez, in 2012, and recently completed its Latino Heritage Theme Study. Sites related to African American leaders and important moments of history continue to be incorporated, including the recent national monument designations related to Harriet Tubman and Colonel Charles Young. The Park Service is also conducting an Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage theme study.

“Our national parks belong to all of us – a fact that is particularly important as we look towards the Park Service’s centennial in 2016 and its next 100 years. As America’s storyteller, it is commendable and appropriate for the National Park Service to examine themes that incorporate the history and significant events of our diverse population.”


About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) 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, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit

Read more from NPCA

  • Blog Post

    Latinos Are Critical to the Environmental Movement

    Jul 2023 | By Sally Garcia

    Latino Conservation Week highlights the contributions of Latinos in caring for the environment, while encouraging the community’s culture of stewardship. Here’s how NPCA supports Latino engagement every day. 

  • Blog Post

    Visiting Rocky Mountain at Peak Season? Not a Problem.

    Jul 2023 | By Megan Tran

    An NPCA intern shares her experiences navigating this highly visited park's reservation system — and offers some insights to help make your visit just as successful.  

  • Blog Post

    7 for 7: How NPCA Is Improving Your Next Visit to Stonewall

    Jun 2023 | By Shira Michaeli, Timothy Leonard

    Stonewall National Monument in New York City was established seven years ago. NPCA is leading improvements at the site in seven ways — including the addition of a visitor center.