Visitors Purisima Creek Redwoods

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Midpen

Purisima Creek Redwoods (Robert Mills)

At Midpen, we believe open space is for all. Public lands are shared spaces provided for the community by the community. Everyone, regardless of background, where you come from, what language you speak, how you identify, with whom you associate, is welcome in the public open space preserves Midpen holds in trust for us all.

Indigenous People and Open Space Lands

Midpen preserves are located on lands that have been cared for by Indigenous people for many thousands of years. Throughout the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Area, thousands of people lived in about 60 small tribes and spoke several languages and dialects. Today, within the District’s jurisdictional boundary, there are 10 state-recognized tribes (as identified by the Native American Heritage Commission) that represent groups of individuals, families or many hundreds of people in a tribal government, and each has their own story to tell. Midpen works with descendant communities and tribes in many ways, including consultations with tribes on projects regarding cultural resources or when Midpen undertakes environmental analysis.

Midpen is committed to providing opportunities to engage in the healing power of nature in our public open space lands for all members of our community. Explore some of the ways Midpen is furthering this work:
a man in a wheelchair on a trail

Accessibility in Open Space

Midpen is committed to programmatically making Midpen facilities, programs, services, information, employment and meaningful work opportunities accessible and usable by all people. Several Midpen preserves have easy-access trails that may accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, walkers and anyone desiring a less strenuous open space experience. Visitors with mobility disabilities may use a wheelchair anyplace visitors are allowed.  Midpen also allows, per the ADA, the use of Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices (OPDMD) for persons with mobility disabilities. In accordance with the ADA, Midpen accommodates service dogs in preserves wherever we allow public access. 

Midpen's DEI Committee

Beyond our public open space lands, Midpen is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment in our workplace. In June 2020, in the midst of a reckoning with the nation’s racial, social and systemic injustices, two staff DEI teams were formed, one focused on hiring and recruitment, the other on community outreach and partnerships. Each team proposed six strategies which were presented to the Board in December 2021. In July 2022, the current DEI staff committee was formed to help implement the recommendations and complete new DEI initiatives to further Midpen’s DEI goals and priorities into the future. The current committee is comprised of 3 subcommittees: Culture & Engagement, Outreach, and Recruitment.

Timeline of DEI committee formation events

Since its formation, Midpen's DEI Committee has worked towards several key accomplishments:

  • Internships have increased 66% since fiscal year 2022 with DEI goals incorporated into the internship brochure to encourage diverse applicant pools. 

  • The Midpen board of directors issued a proclamation recognizing June as Pride Month. 

  • Midpen's Grantmaking Program has made strides in supporting DEI initiatives, adding language to encourage diverse proposals and opportunities for tribal groups.

  • Establishment of expanded DEI partnerships, including a Native American Relations Team to address tribal relations and partnerships.

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