Discovering the Power of Stories through the #MyParkStory Campaign

Have you ever experienced a moment in a park that felt special? A moment that inspired you in ways you never thought possible? Parks have a magical ability to connect us with nature, history, and ourselves. As a digital communication intern on the OCOMMS team, one of my projects is working on the #MyParkStory / #YourParkStory campaign. This initiative from the WASO Office of Communications encourages NPS staff, partners, and parkgoers to share their unique stories with a park that holds significance to them. It’s a celebration of the moments that shaped their lives, inspired their passions, and connected them to the beauty of national parks.

My role in this project has been to reach out to NPS employees, connect with park staff, and collect their stories. With the help from my current supervisor, Suki, and in collaboration with the employee resource group, HORALE (Hispanic Organization on Relevancy, Advising, Leadership, and Excellence), together, we are actively reaching out to individuals within the Latino community, encouraging them to share their unique stories. I’m also working on involving LHIP and other interns, encouraging them to share their personal journeys and the paths that led them to the NPS.

To help guide people through their storytelling journey, I prepared a set of interview questions. These questions aim to help them reflect on their memories and connect their narratives to a specific park or their heritage. One of the most rewarding aspects of this project so far has been the opportunity to connect with NPS employees from various parks and regions. Reading and hearing about their paths, the moments that shaped them, and the passion that continues to fuel their work is truly inspiring. 

As a Latina, this project holds special significance. Growing up as someone who didn’t have a connection to parks until recently, I would have loved to see park stories from people with a similar background. That’s why I’m excited to be a part of helping showcase stories during Caribbean American Heritage Month and Latino Conservation Week. By sharing these narratives, I hope to inspire individuals to realize that the National Parks are for everyone. There is a space for everyone, regardless of their background or abilities.

Through this project, I have witnessed the power of storytelling and the impact it has on individuals and communities. As I continue to reach out, collect stories, and weave narratives together, I am reminded of the incredible diversity of experiences, backgrounds, and paths that exist within the National Park Service. I encourage everyone to explore the #MyParkStory campaign. Together, we can embrace the beauty of representation and the importance of sharing our unique stories. With every story shared, we add another layer to the vibrant mosaic that defines the National Park Service, reminding us that the outdoors truly belongs to all. 

So, what’s your park story? Share it with me or the NPS and become a part of this incredible tapestry of human experiences. Together, we can celebrate the diverse paths that have led us to the National Parks and inspire future generations to create their own stories of adventure, connection, and discovery.

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