August 30, 2009

National parks connect with Native youth

Film inspires US parks to connect with students

By Susan Montoya BryanSuina and Baros were among a handful of teenagers from nearby pueblos who spent weeks exploring Bandelier's backcountry and educating visitors about the northern New Mexico monument as part of a new program funded by the National Park Foundation and its partners.

Nearly three dozen National Park Service sites used foundation grants to develop stronger bonds with surrounding communities.

The grants were inspired by filmmaker Ken Burns' new documentary, "The National Parks: America's Best Idea." The film centers on people from all walks of life who helped create and protect the parks.

"We wanted to create a grant program that helped bring that real diversity and connection back to the parks," said Mark Shields, spokesman for the National Park Foundation.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Review of American Indians and National Parks.

Below:  Bandelier National Monument.

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