The Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District is reaching out to make its parks and open space areas connect with the Hispanic community. It is receiving help through a $25,000 contract with Soluna Outreach Solutions of Rohnert Park. District officials decided they can’t do the job by themselves.
A 2016 American Community Survey found 33.5 percent of the county’s population is Hispanic or Latino. That compares to 23.7 percent in Census 2000. But district officials have no statistics on how many Hispanics use such places as Moore Creek Park near Lake Hennessey or Bothe-Napa Valley State Park near St. Helena. Still, from observation, they think the Hispanic share of attendance at park events is below that 33.5-percent proportional mark.
The Open Space District isn’t the only parks group facing an outreach challenge. The National Parks Service found in a 2009 survey that its parks disproportionately served non-Hispanics whites.
A 2011 report done for the National Park Service called this lack of diversity among visitors a critical issue, given that the nation is becoming more diverse. It explored ways to sustain broad public support for parks amid shifting demographics.
The district intends to pull some ideas together from the local Hispanic outreach for park events by late summer or early fall.