On July 22, 2021, Governor Newsom signed legislation creating new Pathways to Parks and advancing the state’s commitment to equitable access to California state parks. AB 148 establishes the California State Park Adventure Pass, a three-year pilot program that waives day-use entrance fees to 19 state parks for fourth graders and their families for a full year. The Governor also signed SB 129, legislation that includes $5.6 million to fund the new State Park Adventure Pass as well as $3 million to establish the State Library Park Pass, a new two-year pilot program to provide state park passes to libraries across the state that may be checked out by library patrons to gain free day-use access to state parks.
"California State Parks Foundation has been working with California’s First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and California State Parks on Pathways to Parks, a campaign that introduces and advocates for solutions that increase equitable access to the outdoors. We are thrilled to see Governor Gavin Newsom sign legislation to ensure that we foster tomorrow’s champions by increasing state park access for youth and their families," said Rachel Norton, Executive Director, California State Parks Foundation. "State parks belong to all Californians, and these outdoor access pilot programs break down barriers and build stronger accessibility to parks. These programs are a step closer to ensuring that all Californians enjoy a state park system that offers meaningful experiences supporting the health, recreational, cultural, educational, social and emotional benefits for all."
We are incredibly thankful to the First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, The California Department of Parks and Recreation, our park partners, and everyone else who helped make these Pathways to Parks a reality and championed equitable access to our state parks.
Pathways to Parks
State parks belong to all Californians, and it’s up to us to break down barriers and build stronger accessibility to parks. The reality is that too many Californians, especially those from disadvantaged communities, are not afforded the opportunity to experience the wonders in their own backyard. We believe that equitable access to the benefits state parks provide is a right for all Californians – especially youth, who should be able to access state parks as incredible playgrounds and places to explore, learn, grow, and improve their overall wellness.
Additionally, the future of our unparalleled state parks system is at risk. We know that our state parks are only as strong as the people who care for them and protect them from real and potential threats. Current state park visitors are incredible champions today, but we must work to ensure that we foster tomorrow’s champions by increasing state park access for youth and their families.
In response to these issues, we launched Pathways to Parks, a campaign that will introduce and advocate for solutions that increase equitable access to the outdoors.
Access. Health. Equity.
Parks are a clear public health solution: new research demonstrates why equal access to the health and wellness benefits parks provide should be a right for all Californians.
Number of state leaders and park advocates who attended the Pathways to Parks Policy Forum
I am excited to announce that the Office of the First Partner will be partnering with the State Parks Foundation, and with all of you -- on their new campaign, Pathways to Parks