While California state parks are public spaces, that doesn’t mean everyone has access to them. In fact, due to barriers like lack of transportation, cost of visiting, or lack of awareness of parks or the activities they offer, many Californians can't access their state parks.
A future where most Californians don't experience the joy of learning, gathering, or vacationing in parks is a future where most Californians won’t see protecting and preserving state parks as a priority. In prioritizing equitable access, we ensure that California’s state parks will have a constituency that will fight for them now and for future generations.
Of course, removing access barriers is just the beginning of the effort to ensure that every Californian feels welcome and included in state parks, regardless of race, gender identity, ability, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. That sense of belonging is fostered by positive park experiences: welcoming signage, relevant programming, staff training, and amenities that are inclusive and well-maintained.
of the state’s severely disadvantaged households live within a walk, bike ride, or drive from a California state park.
“We have the opportunity right now to build pathways to healthier lives for all Californians – and it starts in our state parks with our kids. Time spent outdoors provides clear mental and physical health benefits at every stage of life, but for youth, in underserved communities, this opportunity is harder to come by.”