In 2020, California State Parks Foundation sponsored a new poll of California voters. The results found overwhelming support for state parks among all Californians, regardless of age, race, or income. At a time when COVID-19 has impacted families across the state, the poll found that Californians believe state parks are important to everyday life, with strong support from young, diverse Californians who value parks as places to spend time with friends and family.
STATE PARKS ARE IMPORTANT TO CALIFORNIANS
Californians overwhelmingly say state parks are important.
Parks are important, no matter your age, race, or income for Californians throughout the state.
Californians look to state parks as places to enjoy down time with friends and family, with strong support expressed by young, diverse populations.
Agree: 91% Millennials | 89% Latinx | 86% Asian | 86% Women
Californians care about protecting wildlife and natural resources in parks.
The most populous state in the nation, California’s population is increasingly young and diverse. In 2020, over half of all California voters identified as nonwhite and 40% were Millennials, GenZ, or younger.
The importance of ensuring and expanding access to state parks for all Californians could not be greater.
California’s state park system is a world-class network of unparalleled natural beauty and historic value that are vitally important to the well-being of our state’s environment, economy, and people. While access to nature is essential to public health and quality of life, it is also a privilege – not all Californians have the opportunity or ability to experience our incredible state parks.
Research from UCLA and California State Parks Foundation found 57% of all Californians live within a state parks visitorshed — the communities around each park accessible by a typical walk, bike trip or drive — clearly demonstrating the large opportunity for parks to serve as a resource for Californians. 59% of households within the visitorshed of California’s 280 state parks are disadvantaged, including 1 million youth below the poverty line.
The poll findings illuminate the opportunity and imperative to make investments that ensure the next generation of park stewards reflects the future of California.
The overwhelming support for state parks among young, diverse Californians outlines the opportunity before us, to foster park advocates and champions by expanding access to our state parks for all.