Cuyamaca Rancho State Park © Cliff LaPlant

We Need State Parks Now More Than Ever

Lately it has felt as though each news headline is more controversial than the last.  Now more than ever, state parks provide a much needed oasis of calm in a time of turbulence. These cultural and natural resources must be protected and maintained by all so that we continue to have places where we can unwind and bask in the beauty of the outdoors.  Read about how your support is already being put to work, and how to get more involved in your local state parks below.


Give back to the parks you love, like these volunteers did at Half Moon Bay State Beach

Register to Volunteer for Earth Day 2017

Registration for CSPF’s 19th Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup, presented by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), will open Monday, February 20 at Volunteer support is a vital component of this annual event which provides our beloved state parks with a much needed sprucing up before the busy summer season.

Thanks to support provided by long-time partner PG&E, as well as The Nature Conservancy, Oracle, Microsoft and Intel, 36 California state parks will receive grant funding and essential helping hands to complete long overdue environmental improvements and maintenance.

Up to five individuals can be registered at one time. If you have a larger group, please contact for additional information on signing up. We hope you’ll join us this Earth Day to do your part for our parks and the planet! For a list of participating parks, visit


Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is one of the parks where Latino Outdoors will be fostering environmental stewardship through park visits. Photo © Kirk Howard

Your Support Makes Park Enrichment Possible

Thanks in part to the generosity of our members and donors, CSPF recently awarded 22 Park Enrichment Grants totaling over $110,000! CSPF awards Park Enrichment Grants to park partners and the Department of Parks and Recreation to advance excellence in California's 280 state parks by supporting increased access for all park visitors through free park days and organized park outings, installation of new interpretive panels and signage, trail improvements, and other improvement projects.

Recent grants enable park partners like The Bear Yuba Land Trust, Sonoma County Trails Council, Latino Outdoors, Environmental Charter High School and many others to take part in the important work of safeguarding natural resources through plant and wildlife studies, preserving cultural history by rehabilitating historical buildings, and connecting the next generation of stewards to the outdoors with field trips, educational programs and online resources. 

Congratulations to all the grantees, and thanks to the donors and funders who make these grants possible! We are proud to support the critical hands-on work of park partners and state parks throughout California.

Learn more about the work each new grant is supporting.


Volunteers put in major work pulling invasive plant species at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in January. Photo © Philip Oakley Otto

Become a Park Champion

Park Champions volunteers haven’t wasted any time getting to work this year.  Despite stormy weather, they’ve had workdays at over 15 state parks so far in 2017!  From habitat restoration in Southern California’s Border Field State Park to painting buildings at Candlestick Point State Recreation Area in the Bay Area, our volunteer teams are committed to giving back to the parks they love all year long. 

Give yourself a reason to spend the day outdoors by getting involved with your local state parks.  Learn new skills, connect with fellow park lovers and nurture a sense of stewardship for the treasured nature in your area.  There are so many opportunities to get involved:

  • Paint buildings at Candlestick Point State Recreation Area (San Francisco)
  • Help with ongoing habitat rehabilitation at Rio de Los Angeles State Park (Los Angeles), Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve (San Diego) and Half Moon Bay State Beach (San Mateo)
  • Repair turkey pen fencing and the adobe floors of a historic building at our first workday at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park (Santa Barbara)
  • Upgrade popular hiking, biking, and equestrian trails at China Camp State Park (Marin) and Cuyamaca State Park (San Diego)
  • Help with trash pick-up and general maintenance at a two-day weekend camping adventure at Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area (San Bernardino) and Salton Sea State Recreation Area (Imperial)

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.


Jug Handle State Natural Reserve © Gary Philbin

Valentine’s Day Views

This Valentine’s Day weekend, trade dinner reservations for a spectacular view. Whether you’re celebrating with your significant other or just hanging out with friends, experience the wondrous beauty and serenity of state parks as you reflect on the relationships that make you happy.

In Southern California, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park offers expansive desert landscapes as well as some of the best stargazing in the nation.  Hike to Font’s Point to take in the geological wonder of California’s largest state park or wait until nightfall and watch the sky light up with more stars than you can count.

Bay Area residents can hike through the redwoods and oak groves of Mount Tamalpais State Park, past waterfalls and sweeping hillsides, to see views of the Farallon Islands, Marin County and San Francisco from the summit.  Watch the sunset as the fog rolls in over the bay.

Further north in Mendocino County you’ll find stunning coastal views at Jug Handle State Natural Reserve.  Home to a series of marine terraces that each exhibit a different stage of ecological succession, the Ecological Staircase trail shows visitors how glaciers, the sea and tectonic activity have formed distinct features. 

These are just a few of the many parks that can provide a beautiful change of scenery from city lights.  Visit the California State Parks website to look for a park near you.


Natural Bridges © Naveen Kumar

Photo of the Month

Congratulations to Naveen Kumar, whose image of Natural Bridges is January’s photo of the month!

The photo captures a sunset at one of Santa Cruz County’s most popular beaches, known for its natural rock formations and tide pools.  Naveen will be receiving a prize courtesy of our photo contest sponsor, Lowepro.

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 from the photos submitted to win a Lowepro camera bag.


Don’t Miss the CSPF Online Store Sale!

Everything in our online store is still 60% off! Quantities are limited, so don’t miss your chance to get a great deal while showing your support for state parks!


California State Parks Foundation

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