Celebrating a Lasting Pride in Your Parks

Danielle Grieser & Emily KaminNPF Blog
A group of National Park Service rangers celebrating the designation of Stonewall National Monument in New York
— National Park Service

While June is Pride Month, and Stonewall National Monument shares the unforgettable story of the 1969 protests year-round. One of America’s newest national parks, Stonewall National Monument, is less than one acre and has a mighty story that spans across the globe and touches people of every background — a place where LGBTQ history is American history.

Since the park’s designation in 2016, the National Park Foundation has been working in partnership with the National Park Service and local community organizations to develop programs and initiatives that celebrate our LGBTQ+ communities.

The iron gates into Christopher Park as part of the Stonewall National Monument

Christopher Park

Beyond My Ken/Wikimedia

A local partner of NPF, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center (The Center) - an organization with longstanding support of the NYC LGBT community - is spearheading a project that commemorates Stonewall National Monument's role in the struggle of LGBT civil rights and invites everyone to share what the Stonewall story means to them on StonewallForever.org. During 2018, The Center partnered with the National Park Service, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the Columbia Center for Oral History to interview nearly 100 individuals who were involved in or directly impacted by the Stonewall Uprising. As a result, over seventy oral histories will be made available to the public via an online library and featured in an exhibit at the Tenement Museum. This project will ensure that the voices and stories of influential LGBT civil rights figures are preserved and brought to life for today’s park visitors.

Group of people standing in front of Stonewall Inn celebrating the designation of Stonewall National Monument in New York City
Rhododendrites/Wikimedia

NPF funding also enabled Stonewall National Monument to hire two interns who conducted social media campaigns and staffed over a dozen offsite outreach events in the community during the summer of 2018. In addition, two Teacher-Ranger-Teachers (TRT’s) partnered with an education specialist to design a Junior Ranger program and a curriculum-based education program. Youth participants in the Junior Ranger program will earn a badge and certificate while interviewing rangers, completing games, and answering questions about the park. The educational program will reinforce classroom learning about the history of Stonewall Monument and will be offered to NYC Public School classrooms and students across the country. A newly-hired park ranger will help to administer these programs while also engaging the public, developing community partnerships, giving guided tours, and more.

Each park tells its own unique piece of American history. Learn more about this urban national park to discover a more recent chapter of our country’s past and its movement toward greater LGBTQ civil rights. Then share your experience with others and encourage them to take their own #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque adventure to explore our cultural and natural treasures.

Comments

I saw a I heart Parks button with a rainbow heart at Pride this year. I work for a local parks and rec department and I would love to have one. Is there a shop or something where I can purchase one?
Jason
Shriner
Hi Jason--if you send an email to us at [email protected], we can try to help you out. Thanks!
NPF
Staff

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