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National Park Foundation Launches Inclusive Storytelling Program

New Funding Will Support More Diverse Stories In America’s National Parks

WASHINGTON The National Park Foundation (NPF) has awarded more than $2 million to support 31 projects in parks across the country to document, preserve, and share more diverse stories that helped shape our nation’s history. The Foundation’s grants will fund projects that support more comprehensive narratives, featuring the stories, experiences, and interpretations of communities whose voices and contributions have been excluded from the American story.

“For more than a century, national parks have commemorated people, places, and events, which have given shape to the unfolding American story we all share,” said Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “Through the Inclusive Storytelling grants, the Foundation and National Park Service hope to ensure all visitors see themselves in our national parks and feel a sense of belonging when they experience their wonder.”

This new philanthropic investment supports the National Park Foundation and National Park Service’s ongoing commitment to ensure that fuller, richer, and more complete narratives are present and accessible across national park landscapes and historical sites.

“We are excited to partner with the National Park Foundation to launch this new grant program,” National Park Service Director Chuck Sams said. “The new grants will help enable parks to share a more comprehensive understanding of the stories that represent the full history and heritage of the places we care for.”

Inclusive Storytelling grants will enable the National Park Service to update interpretive programs, websites, and visitor centers as well as develop new interactive offerings that could include exhibits, digital media products, and educational programs at parks across the country. Examples of National Park Foundation grants to national parks include:

  • Hot Springs National Park will develop a self-guided tour, update current content, and install a new exhibition dedicated to shedding light on the untold stories of the African Americans who worked – but were not allowed to access – the bathhouses that made this park "America’s First Resort” in 1832.
  • Rocky Mountain National Park is continuing its Indigenous Connections work with Rocky Mountain Conservancy, the University of Colorado Boulder, and associated Tribal nations to develop training modules to inform new educational programs and materials, creating a Junior Ranger booklet for youth, and updating the Oliver Toll novel, “Arapaho Names and Trails.”
  • Thomas Edison National Historic Site is researching Mina Edison’s contributions to women’s history in her role as "Home Executive" and will produce a handbook leveraging related resources to be used for park programming, the “Mina’s Place of Business” tour, as well as conserving four museum artifacts related to her work.
  • César E. Chávez National Monument will identify gaps in the historical understanding of the farmworker movement of the 1960s and 70s to ensure that the stories of all communities and groups involved are reflected throughout the park and staff will identify existing oral histories for inclusion in new interpretive exhibits website content, and a future bilingual park film.

View the full list of Inclusive Storytelling projects here.

About the National Park Foundation

The National Park Foundation works to protect wildlife and park lands, preserve history and culture, educate, and engage youth, and connect people everywhere to the wonder of parks. We do it in collaboration with the National Park Service, the park partner community, and with the generous support of donors, without whom our work would not be possible. Learn more at