2021 Volunteer Year in Review: A Time to Reflect and Celebrate | Cal Parks

2021 Volunteer Year in Review: A Time to Reflect and Celebrate

Published: December 20, 2021

Volunteerism is at the core of California State Parks Foundation’s mission - to protect and preserve the California state park system, for the benefit of all. As we move forward into 2022, we would like to celebrate and reflect on our collective achievements that ensured our parks continued to thrive during another year full of challenges and uncertainty.  

In partnership with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, our volunteer program organized 73 workdays with projects that ranged from planting native plants and clearing brush to reduce wildfire risks to trash clean-ups that guarantee future park-goers have a positive experience.  

We couldn’t have completed these workdays without our 1,327 volunteer champions all over California that dedicated 4,146 hours to supporting our beloved California state parks. We want to share our deepest gratitude for all volunteers who significantly impacted our parks and highlight their essential contributions this past year. Thanks to generous program support from our donors, our volunteers:   

Our volunteers have proven that we can accomplish a lot together when we have a shared goal: protecting and preserving state parks across California. 

Volunteer Workday Spotlights  

Half Moon Bay State Beach

Special thank you to California State Park Staff Ethan Rayner and Joanne Kerbavaz and Core Leaders John Salcido and the Gupta family! 

On March 20, 14 volunteers planted 351 native plants at Half Moon Bay State Beach. Restoring Half Moon Bay State Beach’s coastal habitat enables native plants and wildlife species (including the threatened Western Snowy plover) to thrive and increases our coastal ecosystem’s resilience to extreme sea level, temperature, and rainfall variations.  

Palomar Mountain State Park  

Special thank you to California State Park Staff Will Meyst and Katie Michelmore and Core Leaders Stephen Van Lydegraf, Thomas Chung, Randy Shannahan, and Daniel Doran! 

On September 26, 12 volunteers removed 20,000 square feet of invasive species, mulched, weeded, and pruned branches at Palomar Mountain State Park. Maintaining the historic apple orchard helps trees get the proper care to get established and prosper independently.  

Los Angeles State Historic Park  

 Special thank you to California State Park Staff Luis Rincon and Core Leader Brian Hembacher and Catherine Foster! 

On October 23, 18 volunteers removed 7,700 square feet of invasive species and planted 20 black walnut tree seedlings at Los Angeles State Historic Park. Black walnut trees are native to Los Angeles County and provide habitat to many birds and small animals.  

The Year Ahead  

As we celebrate the successes of 2021, we know that our work is not done. Our volunteer program will continue to initiate high-quality, community-focused workday service projects to meet the unmet needs of our state parks. We’re committed to organizing and executing workdays that enhance the visitor experience, build climate resilient parks, preserve history and culture, and protect wildlife and nature.   

Whether you volunteered with us at Trinidad State Beach, Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, Fort Ord Dunes State Park, or Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area, we hope you continue to support our state parks and join us next year! Learn more about upcoming volunteer projects here.