Partnering with the Friends of Bandelier, Bandelier National Monument will hire an evaluation consultant to organize and host 8-10 non-traditional park visitor focus groups in rural and urban areas in northern New Mexico in 2008. Park managers with work with community leaders to fully engage non-traditional park users from their communities. Participants will be given incentives to participate in focus group discussions about what can be done to make national parks relevant to them. The consultant will then create an action plan for outreaching to these non-traditional audiences that will show specific ideas for Bandelier. The format for this study will be based on a study conducted at Golden Gate NRA in March 2007 “Visitor /Non-visitor Use Constraints: Exploring Ethnic Minority Experiences & Perspectives”. It will explore issues such as access (including transportation & costs), communications (including bilingual needs & outreach efforts), cultural differences, workforce representation, and cultural interpretation. The second phase of implementation for this project will be to implement programs and services that were identified during the focus groups to make New Mexico’s national parks more relevant to them. This second phase will be funded by the park with continuing support from the Friends of Bandelier.
This project will assure that Bandelier managers understand how to move the park forward to be more relevant to the people of New Mexico. It will increase their capacity to implement meaningful projects between 2008-2016 that will connect New Mexicans to their national parks – especially the New Mexicans that are currently non-park users. Data gathered during this project will provide very useful information for the other national park units within New Mexico and will create a template which can be applied to the southern part of the state.This project requires NO funding of permanent positions or OFS increases for park operations.