Parks for All People: Promoting Inclusion of People of Color on Wisconsin’s Public Lands

The Wisconsin Bureau of Parks and Recreation Management (PRM) wants to ensure that its properties are inclusive and welcoming to people of all backgrounds, especially because racial and ethnic minority groups are less likely than their white counterparts to visit public lands and participate in outdoor recreation. Major barriers to engagement we identify include discrimination, cultural factors, and limited socioeconomic resources. We recommend several strategies to address these disparities. These strategies include reviewing park materials to ensure they use inclusive language and images, increasing the diversity of staff, building partnerships with outdoor organizations that serve communities of color, strengthening school engagement, and partnering with local libraries. We also recommend that PRM gathers further information through representative surveys and focus groups to inform future park decisions.

Policy brief (PDF)


  • Course: Spring 2022 Workshop in Public Affairs, PA 869, taught by Sarah Halpern-Meekin
  • Authors: Liz Duffie, Philomena Lindquist, Allison Jones, and Evan Steck
  • Client: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Parks and Recreation Management

Download PDF