We believe equal access to the health and wellness benefits state parks provide should be a right for all Californians, especially for youth who need access to our public lands now more than ever.
We developed this policy platform to set a clear path forward for achieving more equal access to California’s state parks that will allow everyone to experience the critical health benefits they provide.
More than 60 percent of American adults and nearly 80 percent of American children do not engage in the recommended amount of physical activity — and the problem is worse in low-income communities.
There is a clear nexus between equitable access to parks and community health. California is facing numerous severe challenges in promoting and achieving positive health outcomes and providing equitable access to the outdoors, which would help to improve health and wellness for all.
California State Parks Foundation is committed to working with advocates, stakeholders, and local and statewide leaders to improve Californians’ quality of life. By addressing existing challenges and opening up more equitable access to the critical health and wellness benefits state parks provide — with a focus on identifying and addressing inequities in access for youth and disadvantaged communities. Three questions summarize our core concerns and provide the foundation for the policy platform.
- What barriers are preventing California’s youth from accessing state parks?
- How do we ensure all Californians, especially disadvantaged communities, experience the health benefits of state parks?
- How can we address equity to improve access to state parks?
We are dedicated to realizing the vision of a state park system that offers meaningful experiences supporting the health, recreational, cultural, educational, social and emotional benefits for all, especially for those youth who need it most.