Alan Spears is the Cultural Resources Director for the National Parks Conservation Association. Alan Spears and I had the opportunity to sit down together and talk about cultural resources at the Ranger Rendezvous, the annual conference of the Association of National Park Rangers.
Alan got his start in the outdoors chasing frogs at Fort Dupont in Washington DC. Alan’s presentation at the Ranger Rendezvous was about Urban Parks. His story shows the impact urban parks can have a child. And in this case, the child who played in nearby woods grew up to help the National Park Service protect and interpret cultural resources.
In this episode, we also talk about Harpers Ferry, Fort Monroe and the National Park Service’s role in interpreting slavery as a root cause of the Civil War.
We also talk about why it is important for the National Park Service to tell stories that don’t always have a storybook ending, like the Manhatten Project.
Alan reminds us; the National Park Service should be proud of the work they do and what they have collectively accomplished.
While discussing the challenge of enhancing cultural diversity in park staff and visitation, Alan mentions the Greening Youth Foundation as an example of an organization having an impact.