NPS, Advocates See 'Troubling' Lack of Ethnic-Minority Park Visitors

"Two decades [after a tour of US National Parks, Audrey and Frank Peterman] ... are vocal and well-known parks advocates. One thing in particular has driven their passion: the lack of diversity in visitors to the national parks, a problem that also has long plagued the National Park Service."

"A chance encounter in a Belize bar led Audrey and Frank Peterman to embark on a life-changing cross-country adventure in 1995.

The African-American couple were inspired when a man Frank Peterman met in the bar wanted to know whether old Western movies depicted the Badlands and Grand Canyon accurately.

Despite having grown up in the United States, Frank couldn't tell him.

To change that, the Petermans planned a two-month-long road trip to see those sites and others around the nation. Then they would go forward with their original plan to open a bed-and-breakfast in Belize.

Along the way, though, something unexpected happened: They fell in love -- with national parks."

Jessica Estepa reports for Greenwire August 12, 2013.

Source: Greenwire, 08/13/2013