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State Parks Sheroes  


Resilient. Inspirational. Courageous. Determined. These are just some of the words I use to describe the women who’ve had a major impact in my life. These women have helped shaped who I am today – especially my dear mom, who’s probably the first person to open this email each month. (Hi, mom!)

Much like these women in my life, there are countless others who have made major contributions throughout history. Women who’ve paved the path for so many who came after them, which in turn will continue to forge new, brighter paths for future generations. By nature, this is a generational process we are all inherently part of.

California State Parks have a rich history of women pioneers who have shaped the parks we love and enjoy today. Just to name a few: 

  • Harriett “Petey” Weaver was the first unofficial woman state park ranger who, after 20 summers of service to the state parks, carried a deputy ranger badge upon retirement. 
  • Paula Peterson became the first woman to officially bear the title of state park ranger that eventually became chief ranger for the Monterey District. 

  • Patricia M. Scully, a park ranger dedicated to the preservation of the environment, was unfortunately killed on duty and today is honored with a dedicated portion of State Highway 1 in San Mateo County. 

  • Mary Wright became the first woman to hold the title of park superintendent at California State Parks, later becoming chief deputy state parks director. She continued to help protect old-growth redwood groves after retiring from state parks. 

But women in state park leadership roles are not a thing of the past – they’re making history all around us as we speak!

Lastly, I’d be remiss without celebrating the many wonderful women I work alongside at Parks California. Thank you for shaping the work we do to make our state parks and public lands welcoming, inclusive and climate resilient spaces where all people throughout California truly feel at home, and for trusting me as a leader on this journey. 

I’d like to invite you to honor the women in your life who have influenced you. Whether it’s a silent thank you, a phone call or even an old-school note or card to let them know we’re all in this together, and a little gratitude for the women around and before you can go a long way. Let's hold each other up. 

Wishing you and yours well,  


Fostering Stewardship in State Parks 

Missed our chat with California Natural Resources Chief Jay Chamberlin last week? Don't worry, we’ve got your back! 👍🏽 Kindley and Jay chatted about California’s extraordinary natural resources and the many ways to preserve them for generations to come. 

Jay told us about how California State Parks is actively investing in the protection of the lands by restoring habitats and ecosystems, protecting native species, and using prescribed fires to maintain healthy forests. Increasing equitable access to state parks and promoting resource stewardship amongst visitors is also key in the protection of California’s natural resources, he shared. 

Our biggest takeaway from the conversation? Everyone from sustainability experts to casual visitors can practice caring for our natural spaces to ensure our parks continue to thrive.

Click here to read more about our chat with Jay or watch the full chat here.

Building Virtual Connections with Nature 

While schools across the state begin to prepare for in-person education, many K-12 students are still not able to connect with the beautiful outdoor spaces that we all love and cherish. To help students build those crucial connections with nature, our friends at California State Parks PORTS Distance Learning Program are continuing to offer top-quality educational opportunities.

Here are some fun programs teachers and students can use to get connected with nature from the comfort of home:

We’re proud to partner with California State Parks to increase funding for all these wonderful programs. Please share these essential resources with teachers and parents you know and visit the PORTS website to learn more.

Check Out Our New Blog 

Have you heard? Parks California has a brand new blog! Check out our growing collection of stories that spark connections between nature and the human experience. Read, get inspired and go outside. 

If you’d like to submit ideas for our blog or if you’d like to become a contributor, email

Save the Date for ParkSpeak 

Our first ParkSpeak of 2021 is coming to you next month! Mark your calendars for April 22 and join us as we virtually step into Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park and guide you through a behind-the-scenes look at what makes that park so special. Stay tuned to learn more and meet our special guests! 

Parks That Thrive & Shine

The latest news and events for you to enjoy with your family and friends.

Keeping Black History Alive 

A once-thriving town founded, financed, and governed by African Americans, the spirit of Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park lives on. Its unique history is remembered 113 years later as a monument of the Black experience.
Read more

Protecting Redwood Forests

Save the Redwoods League and other environmental groups secured permanent protection of a sprawling redwood forest in Mendocino County. While the forest will not be open to the public, it will protect old-growth redwoods.
Read more

Camping is Back in SLO 

California State Parks reopened campgrounds at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area and Pismo State Beach in San Luis Obispo County. Visitors can now make new reservations and claim existing ones.
Read more

The Three Things We’re Talking About

  1. Our friends at Latino Outdoors San Diego are determined to undo social and cultural misconceptions to help all people in California build lasting connections with nature, including the state parks. Read the news story here
  2. California State Parks’ foresters and environmental scientists use controlled burns to restore plant and animal habitats and reduce the chances of large, destructive wildfires. These treatments, also called prescribed burns, will continue to help keep forests healthy by preventing catastrophic wildfires likes the ones we witnessed in 2020. 
  3. There’s no better time to protect the environment and fight climate change like the present, and that’s exactly what the California State Parks Foundation is doing. This April, the foundation invites you to commit to protect state parks and participate in Earth Day Climate Action, a virtual and in-person Earth Day celebration.

Support PORTS Today 

Your continued support makes high-quality virtual education available to communities statewide. In partnership with CUE and Parks California, California State Parks launched passPORTS to help K-12 students connect with state parks. This program provides deep and meaningful digital learning experiences for students through a virtual visit to parks, recreational areas, natural reserves and culturally important places.
Invest in PORTS education today
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Parks California
400 Capitol Mall, 9th floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

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