PARK ENRICHMENT GRANTS

  • Teach Californians

California’s state parks provide lifelong opportunities for children and adults to explore, discover, and experience the natural environment, heritage, and rich stories that state parks contain.

Fall 2016 Grant Awardees

BENICIA STATE PARKS ASSOCIATION
for Benicia State Recreation Area

Currently, there is no welcome panel or orientation map at the entrance of Benicia State Recreation Area, so visitors have to explore the park with little guidance. Benicia State Parks Association is installing these features to enhance the visitor experience through geographic orientation, historical context, and environmental education.

“The Benicia State Parks Association (BSPA) is thrilled to receive a Park Enrichment Grant from the California State Parks Foundation (CSPF).  Over the years CSPF funding, including this most recent grant, has been instrumental in helping the BSPA to accomplish our mission to ensure that the two State parks in Solano County remain open, accessible, and safe.  This grant will assist us to install a "welcome visitors" sign to the Benicia State Recreation Area that will help visitors to discover the recreational and interpretive opportunities at the park.”
- Bob Berman, Board Member, Benicia State Parks Association

Photo: Benicia State Recreation Area © Mike Caplin

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION
for Año Nuevo State Park and Natural Bridges State Beach

Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS) is a distance-learning program that uses videoconferencing to help K-12 schools teach common core standards while learning about California’s state parks. This project upgrades and modernizes the Santa Cruz District’s PORTS equipment so that the content is up-to-date, relevant, and accessible to even more students and teachers.

"The PORTS distance learning program reaches thousands of K-12 students each school year that may have no other access to California State Parks in their lives. Modernizing the equipment used to provide videoconference programs in the Santa Cruz district, one of the oldest and most popular sites, is crucial to PORTS's continuing success. Because of CSPF's generous grant, PORTS will be able to use new, cutting-edge technology to continue offering innovative, high-quality interpretation that spurs the next generation of park lovers and advocates.”
- Rhiannon Sims, Interpreter, Santa Cruz District PORTS Program

Photo: Jason Atkinson's 2nd grade class at Ina Arbuckle Elementary School

HIGH TECH ELEMENTARY
for Border Field State Park, Anza-Borrego State Park, Silver Strand State Beach, Crystal Cove State Beach, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Torrey Pines State Beach

High Tech Elementary is connecting students ranging in age from 5 to 12 and their families in overnight, full-day, and virtual hiking, biking, camping, and environmental stewardship outings at local state parks. Students are introduced to the outdoors and learn how to swim, rock climb, hike, surf, kayak, and more.

"Through funding from the California State Parks Foundation, we hope to engage the next generation of outdoor leaders and advocates through playing, learning, serving, and sharing in our local State Parks.  We know as California citizens it is our responsibility to protect the places where we play and the California State Parks Foundation has now empowered us to do so."
- Scott Shepherd, Outdoor Leadership Exploratory Teacher

© Scott Shepherd

LOS ANGELES AUDUBON SOCIETY
for Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area

Los Angeles Audubon’s Nature Exploration Program at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area is connecting the next generation of students to parks through an enriching nature and science experience for middle school students from local under-served communities.

“Thanks to generous funding from the California State Parks Foundation, we will offer a bus scholarship program for schools that are unable to provide their own transportation. The program has become a must-do experience for area schools connecting more than 1,200 urban students to hands-on learning each year. In addition, we’ll provide specialized training for college students who serve as docents, park advocates, and role models for the younger students as they gain an understanding of and appreciation for the natural world.”
- Cindy Hardin, Outdoor Education Director, Los Angeles Audubon

Photo: Hahn State Recreation Area © Carol Babeli

Spring 2016 Grant Awardees

SIERRA CLUB ANGELES CHAPTER INSPIRING CONNECTIONS OUTDOORS
for Malibu Creek State Park, Will Rogers State Park, Point Mugu State Park, Leo Carrillo State Park, and Topanga State Park

Sierra Club Angeles Chapter Inspiring Connections Outdoors is connecting kids to nature and introducing students to the outdoors that would not otherwise have the opportunity to visit wilderness areas. Grants funds support day hikes, where students are able to explore nature and play outdoors to become lasting stewards.

“Thank you for sharing Saturday’s experience with us. The students had a wonderful time. They can't wait for the next outing. You and the Sierra Club are making new trails in these kids’ future that they will remember as they pursue the trails of their future.” 
- Emilio Lozano, Counselor

Photo: Malibu Creek State Park © Shirley Hickman

KERN COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, KERN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOUNDATION
for Montaña de Oro State Park, San Simeon State Park and Morro Bay State Park

The Kern Environmental Education Program engages fifth and sixth grade Kern County students each year at coastal campuses with science environmental education in the implementation of Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. Funds will support tuition for underserved low-income rural students the opportunity to play, learn, and explore the outdoors.

"Camp KEEP is so grateful that CSPF supports the mission of the Kern Environmental Education Program. Every year we teach thousands of children and adults science and environmental literacy using the beautiful natural setting of State Parks along California’s Central Coast. These unique living laboratories allow visitors to engage in hands-on learning activities and foster a closer connection with the earth. Whether climbing a mountain, listening to birds sing under an oak tree, holding a hermit crab, or watching the sun set over the ocean, Camp KEEP students have life-changing experiences in our State Parks." 
- Elizabeth Roberts, Program Supervisor, Kern Environmental Education Program

Photo: Montaña de Oro State Park © Kern County Superintendent of Schools

CRYSTAL COVE ALLIANCE
for Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove Alliance is connecting underserved, nontraditional and at-risk student that may not otherwise have an opportunity to natural environment, coast and outdoors. Santa Ana students attend a week long program, with a scientific curriculum at Crystal Cove State Park. The grant funds will make it possible for more students to participate.

"It is so important to create opportunities for underserved youth to connect with their local Parks. The city of Santa Ana is only a short distance from Crystal Cove, but there are so many obstacles preventing kids from spending a day here. With the help of the California State Parks Foundation, Crystal Cove Alliance and Crystal Cove State Park will be able to bring students from the Santa Ana PAAL program to Crystal Cove for a week, where they’ll explore local ecosystems, learn about Parks career opportunities, and begin forming a meaningful connection with an amazing State Park that is practically in their own backyard." 
- Sara Ludovise, Director of Education, Crystal Cove Alliance

Photo: Crystal Cove State Park © Crystal Cove Alliance

OUTDOOR OUTREACH
for San Elijo State Beach, Torrey Pines State Beach and State Natural Reserve, Silver Strand State Beach, Border Field State Park, and San Clemente State Beach

Outdoor Outreach is connecting youth from urban communities to California's state parks by coordinating outdoor recreation, environmental education and stewardship outings. By providing opportunities for urban and diverse youth to play, learn, serve and share, Outdoor Outreach helps increase awareness and ownership of state parks, and inspire tomorrow’s generation to respect and protect the places where they play.

“We are very grateful to the California State Parks Foundation for helping Outdoor Outreach connect over 200 diverse teens to their State Parks in a way that resonates with them" said Ben McCue, Executive Director. "These young people represent the future of California. Your support ensures that we have an inspired group of young park enthusiasts that are mobilized to protect State Parks for years to come."

Photo: Silver Strand State Beach © Outdoor Outreach

SAVE OUR SHORES
for Monterey State Beach, Marina State Beach, Salinas River State Beach, Moss Landing State Beach, Zmudowski State Beach, Manresa State Beach, Sunset State Beach, New Brighton State Beach, Seacliff State Beach, Twin Lakes State Beach, and Natural Bridges State Beach

With funds contributing to bus transportation for classrooms in underserved communities, Save Our Shores is connecting students to beaches and providing marine education program fields trips with lessons about watersheds and coastal wildlife and coordinating beach cleanup.

Photo: Moss Landing State Beach © Save Our Shores

California State Parks Foundation

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