Anti-racism in the Outdoors

Resources related to inclusion, diversity, equity and access of black, indigenous and people of color in parks and greenspaces

This new resource is a guide for faculty, staff, students, extension educators, outdoor advocates, volunteers and community leaders as allies of black, indigenous, and people of color in the outdoors. Formatted as a google doc it includes compiled lists of organizations, presentations & podcasts, affinity groups, books, articles, and resources for being an effective ally. Accessible online at

The history and impact of racial disparities in parks and greenspaces has typically received little attention in American public life.  Increases in greenspace use as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the widely publicized racial confrontation of Amy and Christian Cooper in Central Park in New York City[1] have brought increased attention to who has access to and ultimately uses these resources.  In many areas, people of color are less likely to use greenspace amenities even when they have geographic access.[2],[3],[4] These inequities are the result of complex social and economic factors that include explicit racism and segregation.  As an example, Central Park, the first urban park in America, was envisioned and largely driven by powerful white businessmen for the benefit of white elites, and its construction involved eviction of a community of African American and immigrant residents.[5],[6]    Further, parks in cities like Denver[7] and Minneapolis[8] have found that inequities in park access could be traced to discriminatory policy measures such as exclusionary zoning, and disparities in funding for these amenities between white communities and communities of color.[9] We believe that understanding the history and impacts of racism in the parks and greenspaces in our communities can only serve to improve the positive benefits of green spaces to all residents.  With this goal in mind, this list is intended to serve as an information resource for faculty, staff, students, extension educators, outdoor advocates, volunteers and community leaders as allies of black, indigenous, and people of color in the outdoors

[1] Green, A. (2020, May 26). Millions of Amy Coopers. The Cut.

[2] Mock. B. For African Americans, Park Access is About More than Just Proximity: A new study shows that the legacy of racial discimination still looms heavily. A Legacy of Racism in America’s Parks. (2016, June 2).

[3] Mock, B. Want to attract a new generation to the national parks? Find a few new rangers. (2014, March 28). Grist.

[4] Hurst, N. Racist History, Lack of Park-Going Culture Among Reasons for African Americans’ Under-Representation at National, State Parks | News Bureau, University of Missouri. (June 1, 2016). Retrieved July 30, 2020, from

[5] Jan 18, C. P. C., & 2018. (2018, June 11). The Story of Seneca Village. Central Park Conservancy.

[6] Kanjae, J.L. Public Space, Park Space, and Racialized Space. (2020, January, 27). Retrieved July 30, 2020, from

[7] Forrest, S. (2018, August 31). Study: Denver’s inequities in park access traced to segregation, funding policies. Retrieved July 30, 2020, from

[8] Campbell, A. F. (2016, September 29). Inequality in American Public Parks. The Atlantic.

[9] Moore, S. Park Inequities Are Symptoms of a Bigger Problem | Healthy Places by Design. (2019, August 9). Retrieved July 30, 2020, from