Did you know California state parks attract 65.5 million visitors each year? Naturally, that means they need a lot of support. And people like you drive the essential improvements that make park experiences valuable and memorable to visitors.
Many of our improvements in state parks focus on enhancing park experiences and innovating programs, so that visitors like you can have meaningful experiences when visiting.
The little things matter when you visit a park. Especially for first-time visitors, the experience must be positive and meaningful — which can be done through park improvements. The signage should be clear; the interpreter leading the tour should be welcoming and knowledgeable; the trail should be navigable; the restrooms should be clean; and the vistas, habitats, and natural beauty should be unspoiled.
Through volunteer workdays and grant-making opportunities, our state park improvements reach far and wide in California. Here are a few parks you’ve recently supported:
SOUTH YUBA RIVER STATE PARK
Through the Yuba River Ambassadors program, South Yuba River Citizens League is improving the visitor experience, especially for first-time river goers. The park has witnessed an increase in the diversity of first-time visitors, many of them Spanish- speaking. This program will help recruit bilingual River Captains who can bring multicultural competency to the training of volunteers and provide a welcoming experience for park visitors.
PRAIRIE CREEK REDWOODS STATE PARK, REDWOOD NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS
Your support helps connect underserved and marginalized communities to coastal redwood forests. With our grant funding to Redwood Parks Conservancy, the Forests for All project is bridging the gap between local communities and redwood forests by removing barriers to transportation and providing safe, welcoming opportunities for people of all backgrounds, abilities, and socioeconomic statuses.
RIO DE LOS ANGELES STATE PARK
Our volunteers always do great, impactful projects at this park! Some of this work has included removing invasive species around the Butterfly Garden and painting signs to enhance the visitor experience. Invasive species negatively impact our park ecosystems, as they prevent native plants and wildlife from thriving. The Butterfly Garden is an important area that allows the community to connect with native plants.
MALIBU CREEK STATE PARK
A grant to Malibu Creek Docents is helping to refurbish the park’s visitor center. Since this is a historic building, it requires specific restoration expertise. This project is primarily about preserving the history of the building, but it also ensures that all people who come to the visitor center have a safe experience. The repairs will remove any potential hazards for people with disabilities or limited mobility.
CHINA CAMP STATE PARK
Our volunteer workdays have improved and rehabilitated trails at the park, including the Bay View and Oak Ridge trails. Volunteers have worked to provide full usage of each trail for future park goers and allow access for emergency vehicles. These efforts make the multiuse trails safer and much easier to navigate.
TRIONE-ANNADEL STATE PARK
Thanks to your support, Redwood Trails Alliance will now have a volunteer coordinator to recruit and organize volunteers to work on specific trail projects in Trione-Annadel State Park. They will devote time to finding and informing volunteers, identifying specific trail projects with park staff, and ensuring volunteers are equipped with the tools and supplies they need.
TORREY PINES STATE NATURAL RESERVE
Your support is helping Torrey Pines Conservancy replace two water fillers. One water filler will be placed in the Upper Reserve near the information desk and one near the restrooms in the South Beach parking lot. The new water fillers will be ADA accessible, help reduce the use of single-use plastics, and add value to all visitors’ park experience, as the water fillers offer free and clean drinking water.
SANTA SUSANA PASS STATE HISTORIC PARK
Thanks to you, we provided grant funding to the Foundation for the Preservation of the Santa Susana Mountains, which is working toward an interpretive hike program. The program introduces local third graders to Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park, and many of these students have never been on a hike or in a rural park before!
BIG BASIN REDWOODS STATE PARK, BUTANO STATE PARK, AÑO NUEVO STATE PARK
With your help, we provided funding to Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship to work on reopening parks impacted by the CZU Lightning Fires of 2020. This includes work such as removing hazardous, fire-damaged trees; reestablishing damaged trail surfaces; repairing drainage structures; and rerouting existing trails for sustainability to adapt to the new landscape.
MENDOCINO HEADLANDS STATE PARK, JUG HANDLE STATE NATURAL RESERVE, VAN DAMME STATE PARK, RUSSIAN GULCH STATE PARK, NAVARRO RIVER REDWOODS STATE PARK
MendoParks is working closely with California State Parks and representatives from local tribes to update brochures for multiple parks. The current brochures include outdated and inaccurate content regarding environmental issues and local tribes. Indigenous stories have often been an afterthought in park interpretation. MendoParks will provide paid consultation for Indigenous peoples to contribute information they deem appropriate for public sharing, and potentially commission artwork by contemporary Pomo artists to further illustrate content.