Haramoto said he feels an obligation to taxpayers to increase park visitation because state parks are expected to be as self-supporting as possible. It makes good business sense to tap into underserved markets, he said. But the initiative is also about ensuring all Utahns enjoy state parks.
"I heard something on TV the other day that I really liked, 'Diversity is our destiny,'" he said. "That's true."
Thus far, state parks officials have been supportive of Madsen's and Haramoto's efforts.
Madsen teaches English as a Second Language, which has provided another opportunity to inform her students about the park and its amenities.
One of Madsen's primary responsibilities is to gather data to determine whether the initiative is meeting its intended goals. When Madsen surveys park users, some are reluctant to disclose their ethnicities. "Some just write down 'American' or they say 'What's the point?'"
The point, Madsen said, is to create a broader sense of community.
"We as a park want to be a community gathering place. We want this to be a resource where everyone feels welcome," she said.
There are some indications that a more diverse group of area residents are using the park, Haramoto said.
Dominick Barratt, who works at the watercraft rental concession, said during the school year, USU students and faculty are the primary customer base for the rental equipment.
"I would say the majority of our rentals out here are by minorities," he said of the park concession.
While the data collection is ongoing, Haramoto said he believes he and Madsen are on the right track.
"I know we're making a difference. We've got to stick with it."
- LDS Church names Elder Clayton new senior...
- Judge dismisses negligence lawsuit filed by...
- New Salt Lake County ordinance mandates pet...
- Utah cites Warren Jeffs as reason polygamy...
- Boston-bound airline pilot from West Jordan...
- Farr West woman found dead in home, foul play...
- SUU mourns loss of aviation instructors...
- BYU student injured in bounce house accident...
- Chaffetz expected to announce he's... 55
- It's official: Jason Chaffetz to make... 40
- Gun control laws won't stop mass... 33
- Utah cites Warren Jeffs as reason... 29
- Gov. Herbert says latest Medicaid... 24
- LDS Church leaders continue to... 16
- Proposal calls for 900 South to be... 15
- State says it will fund Planned... 14