Metro recognizes that it has a responsibility to remove the barriers of institutional racism that keep communities of color from achieving their fullest potential. In 2016, the Metro Council adopted racial equity as the approach to ensure that the people in the region have the opportunity to share in and help define a thriving, livable and prosperous region.
Metro’s Parks and Nature Department is committed to racial equity. The work is guided by the Parks and Nature System Plan, a long-term strategic plan and framework, and the Parks and Nature Department’s Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. The action plan, completed in late 2018, comprises more than 80 actions aimed at improving economic, environmental and cultural equity. These actions focus on connecting communities of color to resources; providing more equitable access to safe, welcoming parks, trails and natural areas; and helping people of color connect with nature and one another in the region's parks and nature system.
This plan guides Metro's Parks and Nature Department in:
- identifying ways to make its parks more welcoming and safe for people of color
- bringing people of color into the department’s decision-making processes
- creating career pathways for people of color
- connecting regional and community partners to efforts to promote racial equity
- supporting the work of organizations that serve communities of color and businesses run by people of color through equitable contracting.
Equity Advisory Committee
The Metro Parks and Nature Equity Advisory Committee helps to shape the department’s planning processes, policy formation and outcomes on projects and system-wide efforts. The committee's role is to provide program oversight to ensure that funding for new projects provided through the voter-approved bond measure is applied in ways that improve access to nature for communities of color.
In the selection of the equity advisory committee, Metro seeks representatives who have long-term connections to local communities of color, expertise in elevating the needs and aspirations of communities of color, who bring a commitment to environmental, economic and cultural equity, and who have an interest in connecting their communities to the outdoors. Committee members will receive compensation of $200 per monthly meeting to recognize their contribution to shaping parks and nature’s plans, programs and policies. Read the committee charter to learn more.