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Audrey Peterman

Book A DEL Speaker

Few Americans know more about our National Park System than Audrey Peterman, and fewer still
Americans of color. From Denali National Park in the north to the US Virgin Islands National Park in the
south; from Acadia National Park in the East to Yellowstone National Park in the west, Mrs. Peterman
can tell you chapter and verse about the contributions of non-white Americans to the development of
our country, immortalized in our national parks.

Her love affair with national parks spans more than a quarter century, only a little younger than her
marriage to fellow adventurer Frank. Together they’ve traveled through more than 180 of the National
Park System’s 425 units, and served them in numerous capacities. The Petermans’ key focus has been on
informing the entire American public about the existence of the National Park System which is literally
our inheritance, secured for us by the efforts of past generations that charge us with securing them for
future generations.

Since the Petermans first experienced the glorious national parks on a road trip around the country in
1995 they have learned how the publicly-owned lands system operates from multiple perspectives. By
serving as advocates (Mrs. Peterman served 15 years on the Board of Trustees of the National Parks
Conservation Association); on the board of the Public Lands Alliance, (formerly Association of Partners
for Public Lands) representing support organizations, and on concession management as a member of
the Diversity Advisory Board of Delaware North Parks and Resorts. She has been a “Yellowstone
Ambassador” and with her husband led the historic Ansel Adams Bracebridge Dinner Parade as Squire
and Lady at the Ahwahnee Hotel.

She has briefed members of the Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative Conference multiple
times and testified to a Congressional Committee about the Everglades Restoration Plan and how it
affects the mostly Black and migrant communities around Lake Okeechobee. Mrs. Peterman has
physically introduced the parks to thousands of people on stores and to many thousands more through
speeches and media.

Mrs. Peterman is thoroughly steeped in the National Parks culture and is a trusted ally among
employees of the National Park Service which manages the national parks, and members of the public.
She is cofounder of multiple grassroots organizations including the South Florida Community Partners
(1997); Keeping It Wild, Atlanta, (2003); and a founding board member of Greening Youth Foundation.
(2004?) She is the author of three books focused on the national parks and writes prolifically about them
including Mondays and Fridays in The Joy Train.

This thought leader is highly informed, empathetic and has demonstrated the best of the spirit of the
National Park System, for which the NPCA named her “Centennial Leader” in 2022. At this time of crisis
when NPS employees rate the agency #371 of 432 in its ability to carry out its mission, we must accept
that a transformation is needed. There are few people better able to inspire this transformation than
Audrey Peterman. Let her share with you how we might fix this problem.

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