Audrey Peterman

Jamaican immigrant, naturalized American, lover of our national parks and public lands

Audrey Peterman migrated from Jamaica to the US in 1978 and lived in New York State until 1985 when she followed the sun to Florida. She met and married her best friend Frank Peterman in 1992. Together they indulged their love of adventure, traveling the capitals of Europe including London, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin. But when they “discovered” the national parks of America on a road trip around the country in 1995 and saw no black or brown people, they resolved to help make a change. 21 years later, January 12, 2017, the Petermans got the call from the White House that their mission was accomplished: President Obama issued an official memorandum to the federal agencies managing the parks and forests, requiring that they actively take steps to invite all communities, with a particular focus on those who have not been included before. Mrs. Peterman has served on the boards of numerous national conservation organizations, including 15 years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Parks Conservation Association, and is a leader in the Next100 Coalition. She and her husband shared their experiences in the parks as coauthors of the book, Legacy on the Land: A Black Couple Discovers Our National Inheritance and Tells Why Every American Should Care, (2009). Mrs. Peterman wrote the travel guide: Our True Nature: Finding a Zest for Life in the National Park System, (2012) and cofounded the Diverse Environmental Leaders Speakers Bureau ( in 2014. Mrs. Peterman and her husband have a blended family including 19 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. They live on their sailboat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.