• Welcome Visitors

California’s state parks welcome visitors to enjoy the diverse natural and cultural places to hike along towering redwoods, sunbath at beaches, walk along rivers and flowering meadows, stargaze on top of a mountain, tell a ghost story at a camp fire – providing endless opportunities to learn, play and explore.

Fall 2016 Grant Awardees

for Castaic Lake State Recreation Area, Placerita Canyon State Park, and Topanga State Park

In partnership with three Los Angeles area state parks, California State University, Northridge is piloting a program to help college students and community members become state park stewards and advocates. The program provides monthly recreational activities, trainings, interpretive walks, and volunteer service to encourage enjoyment of California’s outdoor treasures.

“The Recreation & Tourism Management Department at CSUN is very grateful for CSPF’s support of Re/Connecting People with Parks – a project designed to get students out of the classroom, into our parks, and interacting with our community. Our participants will kayak and paddleboard in Castaic Lake State Recreation Area; hike and learn to be docents in Placerita Canyon and Topanga Canyon State Parks; and volunteer in all three. The project would not be possible at this time without CSPF funding and we are excited about this opportunity.”
— Mechelle Best, Chair, CSUN Recreation & Tourism Management Department

Photo: Castaic Lake State Recreation Area © Mechelle Best

for Angel Island State Park

Angel Island State Park is a popular destination with abundant recreational activities and panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay. However with 200,000 annual visitors, there are not always enough staff and volunteers to greet and guide visitors. The Angel Island Conservancy developed helpful walking guides and has sold over 3,000 copies in the welcome center. With this grant, the group is installing several self-help kiosks that will bring the walking guides to many more visitors in an easier and more accessible way.

"For the Angel Island Conservancy, improving the visitor experience has been a key priority, and making our walking guides available 24/7 through centrally-located self-help kiosks, rather than only when the welcome center is open, is one critical step towards ensuring all visitors have the information they need to aid them in using and enjoying Angel Island State Park.”
— Linda Moore, Vice President, Angel Island Conservancy

Photo: Angel Island State Park © Angel Island Conservancy

for Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve (SNR), Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, Leo Carrillo State Park, Malibu Creek State Park, Topanga State Park, and Will Rogers State Historic Park

The mission of Latino Outdoors is to encourage families to discover outdoor spaces by reducing barriers that limit asscess, such as language or lack of transportation,  The group is working to foster a deep connection with nature and environmental stewardship through a series of state park visits and overnight camping trips.

“Latino Outdoors is very excited to be the recipient of a CA State Park Foundation’s – Park Enrichment Grant.  Our plan is to use these funds to connect underserved youth and families who reside in L.A. county with the wonders of nature that can only be found in our nearby State Parks.  Making connections between youth and families and parks will no doubt create new awareness, new appreciation and hopefully new excitement for the outdoors.”  
—Richard Rojas Sr., Chairman,  Advisory Board Member, Latino Outdoors

Photo: Malibu Creek State Park © Latino Outdoors

for Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

In celebration of its 50th anniversary and recognizing the need to connect more Californians to the outdoors, Anza-Borrego Foundation is hosting free weekend events at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Visitors have been enjoying their complimentary visits since October 2016, and there are participating weekends planned through March 2017. Learn more and sign up to receive your free parking pass through Anza-Borrego Foundation.

for Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

To showcase the significance of the new telescope installed in the West Wing of the Robert Ferguson Observatory within Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Valley of the Moon Observatory Association is installing new interpretive posters. The new informational posters will tell the story about the telescope: how it was designed, built, and installed, how it works, and list the viewable astronomical objects.

“California is fortunate to have such a strong defender and tireless supporter of its State Parks system.  Time after time, the CSPF has aided parks and other organizations with grants and other valuable assistance, and the Valley of the Moon Observatory Association, which operates the Robert Ferguson Observatory (RFO) in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, has greatly benefitted from the CSPF’s generosity. RFO is extremely grateful to the CSPF for their grant, which we’ll use to produce and mount those educational posters.”
—Steve Smith, President, Valley of the Moon Observatory Association

Photo: Sugarloaf Ridge State Park © Elaine Olson

for Chino Hills State Park

Since a devastating fire in 2008, Chino Hills State Park Interpretive Associationhas been working collaboratively with park staff to replace trail signage for over 90 miles of trails. Chino Hills State Park Interpretive Association is creating and installing durable informational signs for the recently restored native plant garden.

“The Chino Hills State Park Interpretive Association is extremely excited to have the support of the California State Parks Foundation as we look to continue to improve the visitor experience at Chino Hills State Park. This grant for trail signs and native plant garden signs will move us even closer to that goal.”
— Eric Johnson, Board Treasurer, Chino Hills State Park Interpretive Association

Photo: Chino Hills State Park © Chino Hills State Park Interpretive Association

for Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park

Due to the lack of restroom facilities at Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park, visitors often use the surrounding vegetation, creating public health and wildlife concerns. The Foundation for the Preservation of the Santa Susana Mountains is installing permanent vaulted toilets at two trailheads to better serve park visitors and protect the park’s habitat.

"The Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park is classified as an “undeveloped” Park. One of the disadvantages is the lack of toilet facilities. For Park events, Our Foundation rents portable sanitation units to fill this void. The Angeles Sector of the CA DPR has committed making the Park trails more hospitable to visitors by installing permanent SST vault toilets at two major trailheads to the Park. The entire cost of transporting the toilets from their storage site and installing them is beyond the DPR’s budget. The California State Parks Foundation’s Park Enrichment Grant makes this project possible."
— Bob Dager, Board Member, Foundation for the Preservation of the Santa Susana Mountains

Photo: Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park © Bob Dager

for Castle Rock State Park

Sempervirens Fund and its project partners have created a plan for a new entrance and visitor facilities — including a welcome plaza, interpretive features, outdoor amphitheater, restrooms, trail connections, picnic areas and much more — at Castle Rock State Park. To welcome visitors to the park, Sempervirens Fund is installing interpretive panels at the park’s new entrance that include helpful information about the park, in multiple languages.

"We appreciate the contribution of the California State Park Foundation to our efforts to enhance Castle Rock State Park where we are building a new entrance and visitor facilities. CRSP's grant will help us to include interpretive elements that connect park visitors to the ecological, cultural, and historical importance of this beloved California state park."
—Sara Barth, Executive Director, Sempervirens Fund

Spring 2016 Grant Awardees

for Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Andrew Molera State Park, Point Sur State Historical Park, Limekiln State Park, Garrapata State Park, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, and Hearst San Simeon State Park

Visual aids, written information and maps are critical to meeting the needs of diverse park visitors. To provide signage in languages understood by all visitors, Los Padres Forest Association is installing digital signage and equipment at the Big Sur Station to provide critical and essential information to visitors and partners using engaging multimedia modes of presentation.

"The Los Padres Forest Association is extremely thankful for CSPF and their generous investment in partnering with our association in meeting the growing demands of an increasingly diverse visitor population to the Big Sur area. We look forward to utilizing the digital signage and other technological improvements to further promote the mission of the State Parks & U.S. Forest Service, visitor safety, environmental ethics and stewardship, and respect for the natural beauty, cultural history and unique ecology of the Big Sur area." 
— Tim Bills, Coordinator, Big Sur Station Los Padres Forest Association

Photo: Julia Pfeifer Burns State Park © Thomas Haraikawa

for South Yuba River State Park

The South Yuba River Citizens League’s River Ambassador Program recruits and trains volunteer citizen stewards who greet visitors at the heavily-utilized South Yuba River State Park. Volunteers encourage environmentally responsible recreation, remove trash, glass and dog waste, and strives to create a culture of stewardship and responsible visitation at the park.

"Thanks to CSPF’s generous support, our volunteer River Ambassadors are engaging thousands of visitors to the South Yuba River State Park all summer long. These positive face-to-face interactions are changing hearts and minds about keeping this beautiful riverine park clean and safe." 
— Caleb Dardick, Executive Director of the South Yuba River Citizens League

Photo: South Yuba River State Park © South Yuba River Citizens League

for Robert Louis Stevenson State Park

Napa Valley State Parks Association is repairing and restoring the popular Palisades Trail, one of the most popular trails that is severely deteriorated in some sections at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park. The new trail improvements and installation of directional signage will lead to overall visitor safety and enhance the visitor’s hiking experience.

"Napa Valley State Parks Association is the Friends Group organized over 30 years ago to help support our local state parks. While NVSPA has held many fundraisers and tackled many work projects, we could not have accomplished all that we do without the moral support and financial assistance we have received from CSPF and their generous donors.

Although hiking along the Palisades Trail at Robert Louis Stevenson offers glorious views of Napa Valley, it has been difficult for many park visitors to hike to the top and enjoy the vistas due to long-standing deterioration of the trails. Having received a generous grant from CSPF, our "small but mighty" crew will now be heading up the trail with proper equipment and some expert trail workers to restore the trail!" 
— Jeanne Marioni, Events, Programs, Grants, Marketing & Community Relationships, Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District, Napa Valley State Parks Association

Photo: Robert Louis Stevenson State Park © Ken Stanton

for El Capitán State Beach

Having access to park information when travelling to a park are essential. Santa Barbara County Trails Council is installing an entrance sign, kiosk, trail markers, and maps for a significantly underutilized area of El Capitán State Beach.

The park signage will help eliminate confusion about the location of the entrance to a section of the park and provide basic information upon arrival, furthering the visitor’s opportunity and experiences at the park.

"We are very excited to receive a grant from CSPF. The funds will be used to add a system of way finding signs and graphics to a relatively unknown and significantly underutilized wild and scenic section of El Capitan State Park." 
— Mark Wilkinson, Executive Director with the Santa Barbara County Trails Council

Photo: El Capitán State Beach © Ray Ford

for Malibu Creek State Park and Topanga State Park

To improve our parks for future generations to enjoy and engage volunteers in their effort, TreePeople guides hundreds of volunteers to remove invasive species and strategically plant native trees and plants at Malibu Creek State Park and Topanga State Park.

"Twelve months a year, TreePeople brings concerned volunteers out to California State Parks to restore biological function to the land. Not only do we bring people, but we bring tools, trucks, safety gear to get the job done. Together we expand riparian canopy, replenish oak groves, grasslands, chaparral, and coastal sage scrub for generations to come." 
— Cody Chappel, TreePeople Wildlands Restoration Manager

Photo: Malibu Creek State Park © James Kellogg

for South Yuba River State Park

Friends of Purdon Crossing Project, The Hub for Direct Community Action at the Purdon Crossing trailhead along the South Yuba River State Park through volunteer efforts, reduce the impact of human and canine waste in the water and surrounding forest, remove trash and garbage and improve community awareness and education of the need for sanitary habits in the river watershed.

"Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." — Abraham Lincoln

"President Lincoln would have been pleased to know funding from this CSPF grant made a huge impact by supporting our community driven environmental effort dedicated to keeping the great Yuba River watershed clean and healthy. The Hub for Direct Community Action's Friends of Purdon project and it's collaboration with the California State Parks, the Bureau of Land Management, private land owners, and sister non-profit South Yuba River Citizen's League (SYRCL) stands as a shining example of how important issues which face our great outdoors can solved when we all work together." 
— Friends of Purdon project manager, Markus Keicher

Photo: South Yuba River State Park © Markus Keicher

for Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Mountain Parks Foundation is undertaking the renovation of Big Basin Nature Lodge Museum at Big Basin Redwoods State Park to engage and inspire a new generation of park visitors. The project will replace and update outdated interpretive exhibits and make needed improvements to the historic building.

"Our new Nature Lodge Museum will offer an immersive experience to enlighten visitors on their role in protecting Big Basin’s unique ecosystem and the park’s inhabitants. Visitors will leave with a better understanding of how their actions directly impact the ability of a species to survive and thrive. Our goal is to inspire a new generation of visitors to become caring stewards of this special place." 
— State Park District Interpreter III, Elizabeth Hammack

Photo: Big Basin Redwoods State Park © Danny Halvorson

for Portola Redwoods State Park

Campfire programs are part of the camping experience at Portola Redwoods State Park. Campers sing traditional campfire songs, participate in fun games and hear educational presentations about the park. These opportunities deepen the understanding of the natural and cultural wonders of parks, leaving visitors having a sense of stewardship. Portola and Castle Rock Foundation will make needed repairs to the Campfire Center and provided education materials to summer participants.

"The campfire center at Portola Redwoods plays a vital role in the summer camping season and truly enhances our campers' experience at the Park. The receipt of the grant not only ensures another a summer of campfire programs but supports our long term plans of major improvements." 
— James Rauen, President of the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation

Photo: Portola Redwoods State Park © Mike Ryan

California State Parks Foundation

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