May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 14

WE ARE PARKS AND RECREATION
Belonging - Making Parks Relevant
to a Diverse Population
By Paul Gilbert
"
B
elonging " is the end result of diversity, equity and inclusion.
If people can see something of themselves in a place
or program, they will feel a sense of belonging. As with
most issues, it is helpful to focus on the end result and then
work back from there to be effective.
Most, if not all, park and recreation
agencies have been thinking
about issues of diversity, equity
and inclusion in new ways over
the past few years. Parks and recreation
is at the core of every community,
and we want our places
and programs to be relevant to all
the people we serve.
With land comes history, and one
way to make parkland engaging is
to tell a more complete and inclusive
history. Telling this inclusive
history helps everyone see the many
people and groups who have walked
these lands before us and put current
events into a fresh perspective.
This past February, Northern
Virginia Regional Park Authority
(NOVA Parks) hosted four Black
history events
in
three
counties.
Each of these events was done in
partnership with the local county
chapters of the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored
People (NAACP). The Board
of Supervisors chair for each county
was involved in the events, as well
as many other local elected officials.
Three of the events were along
the Washington and Old Dominion
(W&OD) Trail, a 45-mile trail that
was one of the first rails-to-trails in
the country. Three identical interpretive
signs were unveiled in each
of the three counties the trail goes
through: Arlington, Fairfax and
Loudoun. The signs tell the story
of segregation laws that affected the
passenger rail service in the first half
of the 20th century. " These signs
recognize/acknowledge a painful
part of our past, a time when
laws were created to treat Blacks
unequally, " says Karen Campblin,
NAACP Fairfax County Chapter
president. " Although Jim Crow laws
have been overturned, it's important
to remember what Black Americans
This past February, Northern Virginia
Regional Park Authority (NOVA Parks)
hosted four Black history events in three
counties.
14 Parks & Recreation | MAY 2 0 22 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
have endured and to make sure that
we are all treated with dignity and
respect in the future. "
While diversity, equity and inclusion
are a focus of many organizations,
there also is an effort by some
to push back against things like diversity
training and Black history
education. We live in a time when
these issues are regularly in the headlines.
At all four events in Northern
Virginia, there were some who expressed
appreciation that there was
an effort to highlight local Black history
in a way that would stand for
decades to come. Pastor Michelle
Thomas, NAACP Loudoun County
Chapter president, spoke of the
power of the partnership between
NOVA Parks and the NAACP.
While the first three events were
along the W&OD, the most popular
trail in Virginia, the final event was
the dedication of a recently discovered
and researched graveyard that
is believed to be a site where enslaved
people were buried. This site
had become part of the forest over
the years, but several indentations
in the ground were indications of its
use more than 150 years ago. With
ground-penetrating radar and the
search through old records, NOVA
Parks was able to shed light on the
history of this site, which sits on a
bluff overlooking a river.
" NOVA Parks was created for and
is dedicated to serving our many
and diverse Northern Virginia communities, "
says Cate Magennis Wyatt,
NOVA Parks' chair. " Our misPHOTOS
COURTESY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA REGIONAL
PARK AUTHORITY

May 2022 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2022 - Parks & Recreation

May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 5
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 6
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 7
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8a
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8b
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 9
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 11
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 12
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 13
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 14
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 15
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 16
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 17
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 18
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 19
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 20
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 21
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 22
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 23
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 24
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 25
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 26
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 27
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 28
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 29
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 30
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 31
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 32
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 33
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 34
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 35
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 36
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 37
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 38
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 39
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 40
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 41
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 42
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 43
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 44
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 45
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 46
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 47
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 48
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 49
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 50
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 51
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 52
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 53
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 54
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 55
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 56
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com