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National Parks Embrace Pride Events, Guided by Haaland's Vision for Inclusivity



As summer approaches, national parks across the United States are gearing up for their annual Pride celebrations, showcasing their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion for all visitors. This year's events hold special significance as they are largely inspired and supported by the leadership of Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, the first Native American to hold the position.

Deb Haaland's Vision for Inclusivity

Since her appointment in 2021, Haaland has made it a priority to ensure that all people feel welcome and respected in national parks. She has emphasized the importance of fostering an environment where individuals of all backgrounds, orientations, and identities can connect with nature and explore their shared heritage.

Haaland's vision is grounded in her own experiences as a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe. Growing up in New Mexico, she witnessed firsthand the profound impact that access to outdoor spaces had on her community and its cultural identity. She believes that national parks should play a vital role in preserving and celebrating the diverse heritage of the United States.

Pride Events Across the National Park System

In response to Haaland's leadership, national parks across the country are planning a range of Pride-themed events throughout June. These events aim to promote visibility, foster unity, and encourage a dialogue about the importance of LGBTQ+ inclusion in outdoor spaces.

  • Grand Canyon National Park: On June 11-12, the park will host its first-ever Pride celebration, featuring a sunset hike, a stargazing event, and a special talk by a park ranger who is a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

  • Joshua Tree National Park: From June 24-26, the park will hold its second annual Desert Pride festival, which will include live music, drag performances, and a community picnic.

  • Yosemite National Park: On June 25, the park will host a special Pride hike and photo walk, offering participants an opportunity to capture the beauty of Yosemite while celebrating diversity.

  • Glacier National Park: Throughout the month of June, the park will feature a series of interpretive programs focused on LGBTQ+ history and experiences in the park.

  • Everglades National Park: On June 24, the park will host its first-ever Pride event, which will include a paddleboarding excursion, a nature walk, and a campfire gathering.

Impact of Pride Events

The National Park Service believes that Pride events are an important way to build bridges between different communities and create a more welcoming environment for all. These events provide a space for LGBTQ+ visitors to connect with each other, share their experiences, and advocate for their rights.

In addition, Pride events can help to raise awareness of the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in outdoor recreation. By creating a more inclusive environment, the National Park Service hopes to encourage more people to explore the natural beauty of their country.

Community Partnerships

Many of the Pride events planned in national parks are being organized in collaboration with local LGBTQ+ organizations and businesses. These partnerships ensure that the events reflect the needs and interests of the LGBTQ+ community.

For example, the Pride celebration in Grand Canyon National Park is being co-sponsored by the Grand Canyon Pride Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting LGBTQ+ visibility and equality in the Grand Canyon region.


The National Park Service's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is being exemplified through its nationwide Pride events. Inspired by the leadership of Secretary Deb Haaland, these events are not only a celebration of LGBTQ+ pride but also a testament to the importance of creating welcoming and respectful spaces for all visitors. By embracing Pride, the National Park System is sending a clear message that everyone is welcome and valued in the nation's outdoor heritage.

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