Vermont Parks for everyone.
Deconstructing barriers to Vermont's public natural spaces.
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Vermont Parks Forever is committed to deconstructing barriers to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPoC), LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented groups using Vermont State Parks and public natural spaces. We believe that systemic racism and bias has contributed to parks and natural areas being conspicuously underutilized by BIPoC and LGBTQ+ communities in Vermont, the Northeast and the country. There are well-documented physical, mental, and social benefits that come with spending time in the outdoors; however, not all activities and spaces are welcoming to everyone.
Vermont Parks Forever is engaging its resources to raise awareness and remove barriers to ensure that parks and natural spaces are inviting to everyone. We commit to continually working towards a future where all people feel welcome and renewed through their visits to Vermont’s state parks.
The Board and Staff of Vermont Parks Forever will:
Continue to educate ourselves through research, trainings, and conversations to further our understanding of systemic racism, how we contribute to it, and what it takes to be anti-racist.
Recruit board members, staff, and volunteers who bring a diversity of perspectives and have
lived experience to understand the importance of anti-racism work.
Commit time at every board meeting to discuss our anti-racism commitment, create goals, and evaluate our progress.
Continue to expand our Park Access Program to remove barriers and ensure communities that are underserved and underrepresented are among those benefiting from time in nature in our state parks.
Ensure that our communications and imagery represent and welcome all park users.
Listen to and engage with communities of color in Vermont, and work to bring their ideas to life in the parks.
Who isn’t going to Vermont’s state parks, and why?
Park Access Survey
Existing research points to public lands being disproportionately visited by white, wealthy, and able-bodied people. The Park Access Survey, developed in collaboration with VPF intern Nina Rizzi and students enrolled in the University of Vermont’s Environmental Problem-Solving course, is seeking survey respondents from communities that have been marginalized in outdoor spaces, including but not limited to BIPOC Americans, New Americans/Immigrants, and individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities.
If you or someone you care for have not been able to enjoy all that Vermont’s state parks offer, we want to hear from you!
Vermont Parks Forever hopes to use the data garnered from this survey to understand specific barriers to accessing Vermont’s state parks. Survey respondents will be given the opportunity to provide their email address anonymously. Those who provide an email address will be entered to win free day-entry passes to the parks.