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Bringing Parks Closer to Home

Hi Friends- 

This month, we recognize mothers and teachers, which often are one and the same. With their guidance and teachings about nature and its essential properties that make the human spirit thrive, we can evolve a deeper connection to nature.

I’m especially grateful for my own mom, pictured above, who always showed what respect for nature looked like, taught me how to camp (when she wasn't teaching me how to sew!), and instilled in my brother and me a need for equity in all that we do with our lives. Thank you, Mom! xoxoxo. 

Although we may not be able to visit our favorite state parks in person right now (check for park updates), I encourage you to visit a virtual park – I suggest a tour or a “field trip” – with your mom or favorite teacher for an opportunity to bond over the majestic beauty our parks have to offer. And who knows, you might even get inspired to plan your next state park adventure (I know I am).  

We also have exciting news to share with you. We are proud to introduce you to our Parks California Advisory Council members - Doug McConnell, Nina Roberts and Louise Stephens. In addition, we have launched our first grant program, and partnered with Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS) to expand access to parks through technology. These announcements represent a significant milestone for Parks California in support of our mission and strategic plan. You can read more about our accomplishments below. 

Wishing you and your family well,

Making the Route to Parks
More Accessible


Everyone deserves a world-class park experience in California and the opportunity to benefit from a lifelong connection with nature.   

To ensure our state park system is more welcoming, accessible and relevant to all visitors, we are proud to announce the launch of our Route to Parks Grants

Route to Parks is a transportation program for communities who may face challenges getting to or enjoying parks. This month, we released the grant guidelines and on June 16 the team will hold an informational webinar for grant applicants. Applications will be accepted through August and our initial grant awardees will be announced in October this year.

Giving Thousands of Students
Access to Parks



California is home to the largest and most diverse state park system in the country. Here at Parks California, we want to ensure every student has access to educational opportunities at these extraordinary places. 

That’s why we are proud to partner with Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS) Distance Learning Program

We helped PORTS enhance its educational opportunities, increase access to state parks for thousands of students, and expand resources to allow every park district to connect more K-12 classrooms to a PORTS interpreter in one of the state’s 280 parks.

Parks California was able to secure technology resources to offer home-learning programs for 23 state park districts. This tripled their capacity for the home-learning program. We are proud to contribute to the mission of increasing access to our parks. 

State Park Spotlight


In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we want to recognize one park with a rich history and a robust PORTS program: Angel Island State Park. From 1910 to 1940, the U.S. Immigration Station processed hundreds of thousands of immigrants, the majority from China. During World War II, Japanese and German POWs were detained at the Station before being sent to facilities farther inland. Now, you can head to this historic landmark to catch some of the best views of the Bay Area.

Image credit: "Angel Island Immigration Station" by Kwong Yee Cheng is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Parks that Thrive & Shine

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

California State Parks Updates 

California State Parks increased access at some parks and beaches, recognizing the importance of outdoor activities, with new visitor guidelines to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read Weekly Digest

Pigeon Point Light Station 

The Half Moon Bay Review features State Parks’ interpreter Joseph Rogers and the online tours from Bay Area and Santa Cruz County parks.  
Read Half Moon Bay Review

Save the Redwoods League

Redwoods are a living part of Yurok culture and Maiya Rainer is proud to share a little bit about her culture through PORTS distance-learning programs.
Read Save the Redwoods

Welcome to Our New
Advisory Council Members

We’re happy to share that our newly formed Advisory Council has our first three members: Doug McConnell (host of OpenRoad with Doug McConnell for NBC Bay Area), Nina Roberts (tourism professor at San Francisco State University) and Louise Stephens (director of strategy at the Kennebunkport Climate Initiative). Welcome to the Parks California family! 
Learn more about Parks California's Advisory Council
Parks California | California State Parks |
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