Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Vermont Parks For Everyone

Vermont Parks Forever is committed to deconstructing barriers to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPoC), LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented groups to 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 which began in 2016 to remove barriers and ensure underserved communities 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.