Outdoors for All: Partnerships to Make Parks Welcoming and Inclusive


Parks and natural open spaces should be welcoming and inclusive spaces that allow all community members to co-create their experiences in them, especially for people of color and youth, who have been historically removed or excluded. But decades of discriminatory practices and policies have led to biased decisions and practices that have denied these groups equal access and a connection with nature that centers their interests.

This panel will focus on an unlikely partnership of grassroots group and federal government agency that created Get Black Outside (GBO) Day, an initiative that advocates for people of color to have the opportunity to engage in nature, through an authentic and culturally tailored experience. The panel will discuss both the successes and lessons learned in developing this global platform designed to acknowledge, support, and unite Black-led organizations and facilitators that bring outdoor programming to primarily Black and Brown audiences. Presenters will also share a resource, Engaging Diverse Groups in Building Community Resiliency through Stewardship, which one agency has used to engage groups in their natural resource efforts to create programs, events, and spaces that welcome and engage youth of color to build the long-term relationships necessary to ensure communities are environmentally just, resilient, and encouraging of the next generation of environmental stewards.


  • Understand the impact culturally tailored programming has on community buy-in, and the vital importance of a power-neutral platform when partnering with government institutions (or as a governmental institution partnering with the community)
  • Learn ways public parks can go beyond formal boundaries to leverage different types of community assets in collaborative spaces
  • Recognize the important difference between consensus and collaboration when developing inclusive programming


Hillary Van Dyke

Co-founder, Green Book of Tampa Bay

Erika Hood

Director of Social Equity and Engagement, Syatt