Sharing the Legacy


In 1995, Frank and Audrey Peterman, an adventurous middle-aged couple in Broward, Fla., piled into their trusty Ford F-150 pick-up and drove across America to visit the natural wonders they had never seen — the Badlands, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon. In eight weeks, they drove 12,000 miles through 40 states and visited 12 national parks.

…“The most powerful connection came for me in Zion National Park in Utah, which has tremendous visual splendor,” Frank says. “But there is a palpable sense, you can feel it, that something bids you to be quiet, to be still, just for a moment, and understand the hand of God is there.”

… Through their consulting firm, Earthwise Productions, the couple advises mainstream environmental groups seeking to diversify. They publish a travel newsletter called Pickup & GO! that encourages people of color to visit the outdoors. And they recently co-sponsored a conference in Atlanta, where they now live, called “Breaking the Color Barrier in the Great American Outdoors.” In addition, Frank is the Southeastern regional director of the Wilderness Society, and Audrey serves on the boards of several conservation groups.

…They have written a book about the beauty of the national parks and the contributions that minorities have made to the parks system. It’s called Legacy on the Land: A Black Couple Discovers Our National Inheritance and Tells Why Every American Should Care.