NEEF Team at NPLD in Rock Creek Park

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Creating a connection with nature is at the heart of developing a stewardship ethic towards the environment. However, we must also acknowledge that the responsibility of caring for the environment should not be limited to just one group of people. Stewardship requires everyone—outdoor enthusiasts, naturalists, local governments, community members—to truly be successful.

At NEEF, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) is at the core of our mission and how we approach our work. Making the environment accessible, relatable, relevant, and connected to the daily lives of all Americans is only possible if we incorporate a variety of perspectives from our team, partners, and the public to make our work effective.


We are on a lifelong journey to better understand, acknowledge, and incorporate the tenets of DE&I into our environmental education programs and initiatives. We see the following definitions as the pillars of our work and essential to who we are as an organization:


NEEF works proactively to ensure diversity in our staff, board, and external partners. We design our programs and materials to reach and engage audiences of varied perspectives, backgrounds, geographies, and identities.

We pride ourselves on partnering with a wide range of organizations, such as Samsung, 3M, International Paper, and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).


We are creating a workspace that values our differences and offers fair access to opportunities, information, and guidance. We carry this spirit into the work that we produce for our partners and the public, aspiring to make it accessible and engaging to diverse audiences.

We employ behavioral science, data-driven information, and specialized training strategies to align our messaging with the issues that are important to people in their daily lives.


NEEF fosters a space where those from all groups are not only represented, but heard, considered, and supported. We encourage and facilitate respectful discussions about differing ideas and experiences to create a chance for learning and growth.

We are committed to using impartial language and incorporating images that represent people of varied backgrounds, geographies, identities, and ability levels.

NEEF's Commitment to DE&I

Our commitment to the principles of DE&I guides everything we do, but we must also acknowledge the areas where we can improve as an organization. This includes shifting the focus of environmental stewardship from a predominantly affluent, white lens to respect and include the involvement of people from all walks of life. And just as we remain committed to acting on behalf of the environment, so too should we act to condemn the racial inequality and oppression that many communities face in this country.

We envision a world in which people's everyday actions are guided by an understanding and concern for the well-being of their fellow humans and the planet. We are committed to achieving this by standing in solidarity with Black and African Americans...

A Statement from NEEF on Racial Inequality

We envision a world in which people’s everyday actions are guided by understanding & concern for the well-being of their fellow humans & the planet.
Read the Full Statement
DE&I Goals

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been a part of NEEF's fabric for many years. While our organization continues to build on this foundation, we realize that we still have much to learn. One thing is certain—to better care for the environment, we need everyone's help.

Graphic showing NEEF's internal and External DEI goals

DE&I Values in our Work

At NEEF, we partner with public lands groups, environmental organizations, local communities, and others who share our mission of making the environment more accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Here are just a few of the ways in which the values of DE&I are reflected in our work.

Mikah Meyer at Horseshoe Bend National Park

Showing Pride in our National Parks

Mikah Meyer became the first person to experience all 419 US National Park Service sites in one continuous trip.
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Crowd at a pier at Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes conducted accessibility assessments on four beaches and 20 miles of trails throughout the Lakeshore.
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Young woman riding her bike in Red Rock Canyon

More Than a Movement: Black Women Seek Diversity and Equality in the Outdoors

Explore how three Black women, working in the natural sciences, embraced online movements to amplify and collaborate on their environmental research.
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Hard of hearing options at Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park

Breaking the Silence at Crystal Cave

With the help of a NEEF grant, Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park now hosts cave tours for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing.
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Moccasin Bend National Park: Walnut Street Walking Bridge in Chattanooga, TN

Moccasin Bend National Park

The National Park Partners are helping local communities discover and celebrate the rich African-American history of Chattanooga, TN.
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Woman posing with a turtle

Empowering Women in STEM Fields

Jennifer Palmer founded Women for Wildlife in 2016 to support, unite, and empower women around the world in the field of wildlife conservation.
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Girls working on science projects with EcoLogik

Girls + Technology = Success

The EcoLogik project, an immersive summer camp, focuses on boosting young women’s interest in science.
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Women doing yoga | Copyright: Copyright: +

Using Virtual Events to Engage Diverse Audiences

Check out these organizations that successfully hosted events targeting diverse audiences, including LGBTQ and Spanish-speaking communities.
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Kid observing log

Encouraging Youth Engagement with the Outdoors

Juan Martinez, of the Children & Nature Network, discusses the importance of environmental education in engaging all students.
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Hispanic family at the park

NEEF en Español

Obtenga más información sobre nuestro trabajo a través de esta colección de herramientas y recursos en español.
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