Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

At CFPA, our mission is to “connect people (ALL people) to Connecticut’s forests, parks, and Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails and ensure these special places are protected and well-managed for future generations.” 

CFPA believes strongly that forests, parks, and trails provide physical, mental, emotional, and many other benefits.

Unfortunately, not all people have access or feel connected to the outdoors due to social inequities, institutional racism, language discrimination, bias and other barriers. We at CFPA are committed to changing this.

We have a responsibility to take actions to break down barriers that historically have excluded and impacted populations because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, religion, disability, socio-economic backgrounds, or other reasons.  

To reverse the effects of racism and exclusion on the equitable enjoyment of Connecticut’s outdoors, CFPA is dedicated to make a difference through actions such as: 

  • Establish a diverse JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) Advisory Council to incorporate the needs and perspectives of people of color and diverse backgrounds into the design and implementation of CFPA’s strategic plan, programming, organizational culture, and policy priorities. Read the JEDI Advisory Council’s charter 
  • Achieve additional diversity in the decision making process of CFPA’s board, staff, and volunteer base with a clear commitment to JEDI principles in hiring, recruitment, and volunteer participation.
  • Ensure CFPA’s culture and practice is inclusive, diverse, and welcoming to staff, board members, volunteers, interns, and program participants of all backgrounds by informing staff, board, and volunteers about implicit bias, cultural responsiveness, best practices  and staying informed about current events that relate to our mission.
  • Reach out to and partner with organizations and individuals who are working to engage people of color in the outdoors.
  • Recognize that the land where trails, forests, and parks are located spring from an indigenous history, varied land uses, and multiple factors that have taken place since colonization. Read CFPA’s Land Acknowledgement Statement
  • Acknowledge that historically our organization and conservation organizations throughout the United States have participated in purposeful or inadvertent systemic racism which too often has excluded marginalized groups, and consider ways to reverse this deep-rooted and unfortunate reality.  

We invite you to be part of our community working together toward a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just future. 

If you would like to get further engaged in our work or provide input, please contact CFPA’s Executive Director, Eric Hammerling via