Youth today spend less time outdoors and have considerably less access and exposure to parks than previous generations. Physical and financial barriers – including lack of reliable transportation, high fees, and lack of knowledge about available programs and services – prevent underserved communities from accessing state parks, meaning youth aren’t forming the lasting relationships and appreciation for the outdoors that they need. Couple that with the fact that 40% of U.S. School Districts have eliminated recess, and it becomes clear that a love of the outdoors is at risk.

CSPF is committed to increasing youth access and exposure to state parks so that every Californian has opportunities to experience nature and its benefits.

That’s why we’re currently focusing our grantmaking strategy on increasing youth access to state parks. Leveraging the power of our strategic partnerships, CSPF finds, funds and supports organizations to expand access, improve equity and maintain park excellence.

We envision an excellent state park system - one that is not only accessible to all, but also works to improve quality of life through positive, meaningful and healthy experiences in a flourishing and welcoming state park system. Our focus on creating meaningful and transformative experiences for youths aims to facilitate the deep appreciation for state parks and create the next generation of empowered park stewards.

Our Parks, Our Future is CSPF’s latest initiative embodying the belief that youth, now and for generations to come, hold within them the future of our California state parks. Learn more about the initiative here.

California State Parks Foundation

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