Your favorite winter activities in parks

The winter season is almost officially here and with it comes unique ways to enjoy our 280 state parks here in California. We asked you to share your favorite state park winter activities with us, and you did not disappoint! Below are some of your responses:

“Picking mushrooms at Salt Point State Park! A big hedgehog mushroom pictured (above).”
– Rene De Bos, Novato
Ed. Note: Mushroom picking is not allowed at most state parks. Check your local park for rules and regulations.

“Walking around Rio de Los Angeles State Park, in Los Angeles’s Cypress Park neighborhood, after a solid winter rain, means that you get to see the seasonal pond filled with water, with families of ducks and other birds enjoying the water. It could be a scene from New England, but it’s in the heart of Los Angeles!”
– Margaret Oakley Otto, Park Champions Field Consultant, Santa Monica

See the full list and more in our Winter 2017 Parklands.


Youth volunteer at LA State Historic Park

When Park Champions volunteer projects permit, our teams always make an effort to create a welcoming environment that is safe for families and youth. We are now expanding youth access to Park Champion workdays with pilot projects that will allow more youth to learn about the parks in their local communities and how to be stewards and advocates for their parks.

On December 1st, we held our first workday in cooperation with two public elementary schools blocks away from Los Angeles State Historic Park. Third and fourth grade students from Ann Street Elementary and Castelar Street Elementary Schools learned about pollinators and planting native plants. Sean Woods, the District Superintendent, dropped by to say hello and encourage the students, who each got to bring home their own California native black sage plant. The youth, teachers and parks staff all had a wonderful time and we look forward to more Park Champions special projects for youth in the future!

Want to become a Park Champion? Click here to see a calendar and more descriptions of upcoming Park Champions projects, as well as a map of where they are located. Many workdays across the state welcome youth and teens with a legal guardian. Hope you can join us for a workday soon.


Double your gift for parks through December 31

As 2017 comes to a close, we’re looking back on everything your support has made possible, and looking forward to what your support can do in 2018. That’s why our Board of Trustees has generously pledged to match your gift dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000 total, to support our 2018 State Parks Improvement Campaign!

When you make a donation by December 31, 2017, your gift will go twice as far to fund critical park improvements, inspire volunteers and service, change the lives of California youth visiting parks for the first time, and more.

To keep parks pristine, wildlife protected and visitor experiences as positive as possible, our parks require regular improvements. Make the difference for them now! Donate online to the State Parks Improvement Campaign by December 31, 2017, for your gift to be matched dollar-for-dollar.


Photo © Christophen Michel via Wikimedia Commons

Use your voice to protect our public lands

Our public lands belong to everyone. Our parks, monuments, beaches, mountains, historical sites are all places that preserve some of the very best of America. We must act now and use our voice against the recent proposal to reduce and rollback existing protections at two monuments – Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

In addition to rolling back existing protections, the National Park Service is proposing increased fees at 17 popular parks throughout the country. In California, this includes Yosemite, Joshua Tree and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

It is not too late for you to use your voice for parks this year! We urge you to act now and here’s what you can do:

Speak up for the protection of our monuments and parks.
Post and tweet to let your friends and family know that our monuments should be protected for future generations. There are many ways to do so, and here are a few ideas:

  • Share your story and post a photo of you visiting your favorite parkland
  • Change your profile pictures to We ❤ Our Public Lands (learn more)

Comment here on the National Park Service proposal to fee increases.
You have until December 23 to comment on the proposal and help send a strong message that we support parks for all. Sample comments include:

  • Enjoyment of local parks, state parks and America’s public lands is a right for all.
  • We deserve a well-funded national park system that is a balance of public funding and user fees.
  • A long term, sustainable public park funding is needed to ensure our parks are available for future generations to come.
  • Fees need to be accessible as to not exclude park goers and disproportionately impact disadvantaged communities.

Thank you in advance for taking action to protect our public lands!


November photo of the month

Congratulations Bruce J Fournier, whose photo of pelicans taken at Morro Bay State Park is November’s Photo of the Month!

You could be our next winner! Join our My California State Parks Flickr group to become part of a community of photographers and park lovers sharing their images. Once a month, a winner is selected to win a prize thanks to our sponsor, Lowepro!



California State Parks Foundation

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