The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis have been felt by every individual, family, community, business, and industry – California’s parklands are no exception.
Months of park closures have resulted in massive revenue loss and the state park system is amid a huge fight to stay funded in the California state budget. To support the evolving needs of California’s state parks and park partner organizations in response to COVID-19, we created an invitation only grant round to ensure parks are supported during the pandemic.
We are thrilled to be able to provide 20 amazing partner organizations with grants to support the evolving needs of parks during this time. The Keeping Parks Whole Grant opportunity includes $100,000 in grant funding that supports activities resulting in adequate funding, staff positions remain filled, maintenance is not deferred, or park programs remain available.
Meet our Keeping Parks Whole grantees and get an inside look at their upcoming projects:
Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association | Anderson Marsh State Historic Park | $5,000
The grant will allow Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association to donate the lumber, materials and supplies, and personnel to complete the repairs to the iconic wooden boardwalk on the Cache Creek Nature Trail over the summer so that it is ready to be used when the park fully re-opens.
Anza-Borrego Foundation | Anza-Borrego Desert State Park | $5,000
This grant will provide Junior Ranger Adventure kits and technology updates for digital experiences to help youth and adults stay connected to the park. It will also support cost associated with new COVID-19 regulations and help maintain programming of interpretive experiences such as Camp Borrego (3 days, 2-nights 5th-grade environmental education camp experience).
Calaveras Big Trees Association | Calaveras Big Trees State Park | $5,000
The pandemic and resulting closure of the Visitor Center store drastically impacted the revenue and budget of the Calaveras Big Trees Association, who is responsible for the majority share of the salaries for Interpretive Park Aides in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. This grant will provide the salary of seasonal position during the peak summer months.
California State Railroad Museum Foundation | Old Town Sacramento State Historic Park and Railtown 1897 State Historic Park | $5,000
This grant will address critical maintenance of the open-air gondolas and pay salary for employees completing this work. This work will also adjust seating options in the car due to new COVID-19 capacity restrictions. This will allow visitors the open-air experience and address concern around being in closed quarters with other patrons.
California League of Park Associations | $5,000
This grant will help create an all virtual conference instead of an in-person conference in Southern California and will help purchase infrastructure and hire contract help to convert the conference to virtual.
Chino Hills State Park Interpretive Association | Chino Hills State Park | $5,000
Funding will provide for the necessary staff to manage the park operations in the midst of the COVID crisis. Staff may include Park Interpretive Specialist, Park Maintenance Aid, Visitor Services Park Aid, or other staff that contribute to the overall operation of Chino Hills State Park this calendar year.
Clockshop | Rio de Los Angeles State Park | $5,000
This grant will help fund The Bowtie Youth Council, a group of 7-10 youth between the ages of 14 and 23 to be active participants in the outreach and engagement around conceptual design for the future State Park at the Bowtie. The participation in the council will be a paid opportunity and address lack of programming for young people in public space, especially around Covid-19.
Fort Ross Conservancy | Fort Ross State Historic Park and Salt Point State Park | $5,000
This grant will help Fort Ross Conservancy assess and analyze how interpretive programs at the park need to change due to COVID-19. This research will result in a documentation overview outlining changes to the programs, safety measures needed at the park, and safety measures schools and teachers will need to implement. This will be distributed to parents and teachers in a video to show the changes Fort Ross Conservancy and encourage them to continue participating in the program -- and also remind them how beautiful and healing Sonoma Coast parks are!
Friends of Sutter’s Fort | Sutter's Fort State Historic Park | $5,000
This grant will allow Friends of Sutter’s Fort to fund staffing at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park and the State Indian Museum in order to continue meeting the needs of California teachers and students during the COVID pandemic. The funding will also help transition fall events to a virtual platform.
Hendy Woods Community | Hendy Woods State Park | $5,000
This grant will address potholes on the main entry road and road to the Day Use Area. It will also help replace the holding tank at the outhouse style bathroom facility at Navarro by the Sea Beach.
Literacy for Environmental Justice | Candlestick Point State Recreation Area | $5,000
This grant will help fund advocacy work and help coordinate our efforts with stake holders to collectively try tackle issues. The funding will also allow staff to conduct ongoing stewardship and to directly engage community members.
Los Angeles River State Park Partners | Los Angeles State Historic Park | $5,000
This grant will help fund a ceremonial procession and safe gathering around a public altar co-created with the community to re-open Los Angeles State Historic Park. This altar will help inspire collective, public healing, while honoring those taken from us by COVID-19 and the pandemics of racial, economic, and institutional violence that have made this crisis many times worse for low-income communities of color. This activity will be grounded, real, and powerfully symbolic for those participating in it and for those observing from afar through media, social media, and word of mouth storytelling.
McArthur Burney Falls Interpretive Association | McArthur Burney Falls Memorial State Park and Castle Crags State Park | $5,000
This grant will help increase park revenue by allowing McArthur Burney Falls Interpretive Association to conduct retail sales safely, expand virtual interpretive programs, and provide a safe, outdoor venue for questions and pamphlet distribution.
Mendocino Woodlands Camp Association | Mendocino Woodlands State Park | $5,000
This grant will cover part of the cost of salaries for three maintenance staff for the month of August. Without maintenance staff, the park would go into severe disrepair which would make it impossible to welcome back visitors.
Mendocino Area Parks Association | Greenwood State Beach, MacKerricher State Park, Mendocino Headlands State Park, and Van Damme State Park | $5,000
This grant will help will support the Mendocino Area Parks Assocition’s Interpretive team expand their PORTS programs and help create a Backyard Jr Ranger program. This program will feature a free kit with a summers-worth of fun, educational activities designed for kids without wifi, devices, or even access to parks. Additionally, this funding will keep Visitor Centers at 4 state parks staffed and operational.
Mountain Parks Foundation | Big Basin Redwoods State Park and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park | $5,000
This grant will help fund operational costs to help Mountain Parks Foundation recover from the impact of Covid-19. It will also help fund equipment and supplies needed for interpretive programs to continue in-person and virtually in light of COVID-19 restrictions.
Outdoor Outreach | $5,000
This grant will directly support Outdoor Outreach's mission to connect more than 300 youth to the transformative power of the outdoors. This funding will help Outdoor Outreach’s Youth participants be aware of close-to-home state parks and beaches, empower them to make knowledgeable choices about the environment, and minimize the impact to the places where they recreate, and inspire them to care for the natural environment and become stewards in their communities.
Portola and Castle Rock Foundation | Castle Rock State Park and Portola Redwoods State Park | $5,000
This grant will help fund critical maintenance to Three trail bridges in Castle Rock State Park that are showing signs of extensive rot and instability. The project also includes repairing a bench on the Saratoga Gap Trail and reconstructing an ephemeral drainage crossing to stop trail erosion. All sites will be rehabbed and naturalized upon completion.
Save Mount Diablo | Marsh Creek State Park and Mount Diablo State Park | $5,000
This grant will help fund the weekly lighting of the Summit Beacon on Mount Diablo and the newly launched “Healing Power of Nature” zoom series. The lighting of the Beacon every Sunday is a symbol of hope, connection, and a reminder of the healing power of nature.
South Yuba River Citizens League | Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park and South Yuba River State Park | $5,000
This grant will help South Yuba River Citizens League resume critical programing within the South Yuba River State Park system. Funding will help provide additional training for River Ambassadors to comply with public health guidance around COVID-19. River Ambassadors will set up various educational booths that will operate during busy weekends and contain large park maps, access pamphlets including trail locations, safety signage, trash collection supplies, children’s activities, and satellite phones to reach emergency personnel.