“Desert Bouquet” © Niall Fritz, taken at Anza Borrego Desert State Park during this year’s superbloom.

State Parks Are in Bloom

Spring is in full swing at state parks and there are so many reasons to visit and so many ways to give back! From volunteering on Earth Day to joining us at the State Capitol for Park Advocacy Day, now is the time to get involved at state parks. 

The changing of the seasons brings expansive fields of colorful blooms, young wildlife exploring the ecosystem for the first time— and plenty of storm related damage!  Learn how to help the parks you love through donating, volunteering and advocating alongside CSPF. 


Thousands of volunteers will be making improvements at state parks on April 22 during our annual Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup

Give Back to Parks on Earth Day

Spring is finally here.  Wildflowers are emerging after epic winter rains and parks are humming with life after years of drought. This summer is sure to be one of the best ever at California’s state parks, and we need your help to get ready for the busiest season of the year! Please join us on April 22 at our 19th annual Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup, presented by PG&E.

 Volunteer and Make a Difference

It is easy to take for granted the natural splendor of state parks. But these parks would not exist without the support of volunteers who work to ensure that they remain vibrant, welcoming places. Over the years, our Earth Day program has provided underfunded state parks with much-needed grant funding and the people power needed to complete maintenance and improvement projects. Picnic areas, bike trails, beaches and bulletin boards all need help getting ready for the busy summer season.

Right now, we especially need help at parks in the greater San Diego area, including San Elijo State Beach, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, Torrey Pines State Beach, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park and Carlsbad State Beach. 

Volunteers are also needed at California Citrus State Historic Park in Riverside County, as well as in Northern California parks like Trinidad State Beach in Humboldt County, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in Sonoma County, Auburn State Recreation Area in Placer County and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park in Mendocino County. 

Please sign up today to support our Earth Day efforts and give back to the state parks you love.

Special thanks go to our participating members as well as partners The Nature Conservancy, Oracle, Union Bank, Intel, and Microsoft for support of this vital program.

Media Sponsors

CSPF would like to thank the following media partners for their valued support:

Edible Silicon Valley

Entercom Sacramento and San Diego

Folsom Telegraph

Froggy and Mix 104.9 Sonoma

Half Moon Bay Review

iHeartMedia Fresno and San Francisco

KTVU-TV Channel 2

KSTT-FM San Luis Obispo

Results Radio Sacramento

San Francisco Chronicle

San Luis Obispo Tribune

Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Sonoma Index Tribune and La Prensa

The Auburn Journal

World Journal

Make Earth Day count this year by registering for a workday near you today.  Volunteer support is a critical component of this annual event – and we can’t make it happen without you!

Can't make it to one of our worksites? There's still a way you can help — give to our special Earth Day Campaign by April 21 and you'll help park projects across the state!


Park Champions volunteers have been planting native species in the riparian zone of Los Angeles State Historic Park.

An Urban Oasis Opens in Los Angeles

This month brings the long awaited opening of Los Angeles State Historic Park, an outdoor oasis tucked into an otherwise industrial area. Thanks to the tireless advocacy efforts of residents and local community groups, a 32-acre parcel of land was acquired by California State Parks instead of being developed. After almost a decade of planning, the first phase of public use will begin on April 22, providing nearby communities with a much needed open space for civic dialogue, cultural celebration and historic remembrance.

California State Parks Foundation is thrilled to have been involved in planning regarding the development of this innovative state park. Additionally, our Park Champions volunteers have held six workdays at Los Angeles State Historic Park since October, focusing on planting native plants and trees. People will have a chance to experience this beautiful area next week, but the park’s seasonal wetlands have already become a hot spot for local songbirds!

Want to help out during the historic grand reopening? Los Angeles River Park Partners are still looking for hundreds of volunteers on April 22 to staff games and activities. Email info.larsppartners@gmail.com to get started.


Only one park bond bill will be delivered to the Governor’s desk before being voted on in 2018. Photo of California’s State Capitol © Tony Webster

Park Bond and Legislative Update

With over 2,000 bills introduced at the State Capitol so far this year, our team in Sacramento has been working diligently to identify and take action on legislation that would impact California’s state parks and other natural, cultural and recreational resources. This year, we are pleased to see that both the Senate and Assembly have recognized the critical need to invest into parks.  Both houses have introduced legislation that would include a park bond on the 2018 ballot.

We currently support both SB 5 (de León) and AB 18 (Garcia). Each of these bond proposals allocate funding for the restoration and preservation of existing state park facilities and units. Ultimately, only one of these bond bills will be delivered to the Governor’s desk for approval before it can be presented to voters in 2018.

Decades of decreasing annual funding has led to a deferred maintenance backlog that exceeds $1 billion. Critical repairs are necessary to preserve visitor safety, improve amenities and increase equitable access to state parks, and it has been 15 years since California last approved a whole and substantive park bond.

Creating access to safe and well maintained parks can enrich the lives of all Californians. We believe that it is time to reinvest in California’s natural and historic infrastructure – including significant funding for California’s state park system.


Castle Crags State Park is one of three parks where volunteers will be having their first workdays this month. Photo © Andrew Aldrich

Help Transform the Parks You Love

From San Diego to Shasta, our Park Champions volunteers haven’t been wasting any time getting to work helping parks recover from a brutal winter in preparation for what is expected to be an especially beautiful summer at California’s state parks. 

Spring is the perfect time for growth and renewal, and volunteers are making sure that state parks are receiving the maintenance, repairs and improvements that are crucially needed.  This month, we’re hosting workdays at Castle Crags State Park in Shasta County, Fort Ord Dunes State Park in Monterey County and Auburn State Recreation Area in Placer and El Dorado Counties for the very first time!  And there are so many other ways to get involved:

  • Help with trail maintenance at Palomar Mountain State Park and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park (San Diego)
  • Remove invasive plants to improve the ecosystem at Salt Point State Park (Sonoma)
  • Camp and help clear trails and refuse at Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area (San Bernardino)
  • Team up with Take It Outside California! for volunteer events at Border Field State Park (San Diego), Chino Hills State Park (Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino) and Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park (El Dorado)

 And that’s just in the next few weeks!  Visit our website to see a map and descriptions of upcoming Park Champions projects near you, and check out the Flickr page to be inspired by the photos of volunteers' recent accomplishments.


Park supporters will be meeting at the State Capitol to advocate for parks.

Join us for Park Advocacy Day

Over the past 15 years, over 1,000 individuals have helped us lobby in support of park protection, increased funding and a variety of other important issues pertaining to state parks. Please join the California State Parks Foundation and park lovers on Tuesday, June 20 as we continue this tradition with our 15th annual Park Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. This year, we are focusing our collective advocacy efforts on supporting policies that will increase park access for all Californians.

Registration for Park Advocacy Day is open until May 1, 2017.  We hope you will stand with us in support of our state park system!


“Antelope Valley Poppies” © Thomas Haraikawa

March's Photo of the Month

Congratulations to Thomas Haraikawa, whose photo from Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is March's photo of the month!

It’s no secret that this spring has brought sweeping superblooms to California’s parks.  This vibrant photo was taken just last month, and is a great example of how to capture a stunning shot while staying on marked trails to help preserve these beautiful areas.

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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