Women's Rights National Historical Park working to rebuild reputation with Seneca Falls locals

SENECA FALLS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - The Women's Rights National Historical Park is working to rebuild its relationship with the Seneca Falls community after what the Park Superintendent calls a series of misunderstandings.

The Park has its own concerns with the community not welcoming its tourists and out-of-area employees.

One neighborhood businessman says many feel the park is isolated from the locals.

Superintendent Ami Ghazala tells NewsChannel 9 she's having conversations to improve the relationship with Seneca Falls natives.

Ghazala started by appearing at a town board meeting, to clear up some misinformation, including what she says are accusations that the Park is partisan, having hosted a Women's March event on January 21, the day after President Donald Trump's Inauguration.

The Superintendent says, "We are not allowed to be partisan in any way. When I'm in a uniform, I don't have freedom of speech."

She also shared the story of a park intern quitting, who didn't feel welcome in town, kicked out of a restaurant for speaking Spanish. 

Ghazala says, "I've gotten emails from residents saying, 'Wow I'm really sorry that happened to one of your employees. Wow what can we do?' I have heard nothing negative and I'm inspired by that. That's what this community is."

The National Park Service estimates it brings 60,000 visitors to Seneca Falls every year, along with $2 million in business for the community.

Ghazala invites the community to email her with suggestions to improve the relationship between the Park and Seneca Falls. Her address is noemi_ghazala@nps.gov.

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