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Honoring Indigenous Roots in State Parks 

Hi Friends-

The past month has felt longer than usual for many of us – election time has a way of being both exhilarating and exhausting in that way. Now, with this monumental moment behind us, I imagine we all may feel a new wave of challenges have unearthed themselves. When the dust has settled, we’ll find ourselves facing an opportunity to heal, and to bring that healing with us into the next chapter.

This theme is apt as we honor the more than 100 Indigenous tribes that have been caring for our region’s natural resources for thousands of years. Native American communities across the state have had a tremendous impact on the California State Parks system that we value so much today.

To recognize the diverse traditions and histories of Native culture, and to acknowledge their important contributions, we’re intentionally celebrating Native American Heritage Month all November long. Yet in order to truly do our Indigenous communities justice, we must infuse this recognition into everything we do, all year long.

There have been many notable moments honoring California’s Indigenous culture over the past few months, including:

We hold deep respect and gratitude for Indigenous communities throughout California, and we are committed to bringing that perspective to everything we do to ensure California’s state parks are welcoming, accessible, and relevant to all visitors. We promise to continue honoring the land and the past, and to learn from and listen to all our Indigenous partnerships.

Lastly, we are also doing our part to honor all people from all walks of life in this work, which also means digging deep and acknowledging our own roles in contributing to – and ultimately dismantling – inequities. This is why we have hired a consultant to help our Parks California team intentionally build diversity, equity and inclusion from the inside out. We believe being transparent about the process is the simplest way to hold ourselves accountable. 

Wishing you and yours well, 


Announcing Route to Parks Grantees

A few months ago, we launched our Route to Parks Grants program to ensure everyone can access and benefit from a lifelong connection with nature. After reviewing all the well-thought out proposals, we’re happy to announce the Route to Parks Grants recipients below. Learn more about them and keep an eye out for their wonderful initiatives within state parks!

Our Latest State Parks Adventure  

Last month we took a guided tour of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park®. Complete with the behind-the-scenes anecdotes, local guests and little-known facts, our ParkSpeak adventure series took us to the desert. Thank you for joining us to explore the magnificent landscapes and rich history of Anza-Borrego. If you missed it, you’re in luck! You can check it out here.

Watch here

Support Untold Stories in California State Parks

There are many ways to support California State Parks – including shopping for your family and friends this holiday season. We’ve teamed up with Sudha Pennathur – a nationally renowned Indian designer who is based in California, yet works with award-winning artisans and craftspeople in India, Bali, Thailand, Egypt and Italy to design and produce unique jewelry, accessories and decorative art. Funds from Sudha’s benefit sale, which launches on Saturday, November 14 and runs through Christmas Day, will support our project to share key “untold stories” across select California’s State Parks. Support these wonderful artists and the stories that remain to be told by shopping the benefit sale here

Shop here

Jamming with Parks California

Who is ready for a little rock and roll? 🎧 We’re partnering with Stageit for a live, web-based musical performance that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. The best part? Proceeds of this event will benefit the wildfire relief efforts that will help open your beloved state parks quickly and safely. You can help state parks recover from wildfires while enjoying live music! Headliners include Aloe Blacc, G. Love, Fortunate Youth and Fishbone. To purchase your tickets, click here.

Get tickets here

Bringing People Together for Giving Tuesday 

This giving season, Parks California wants to show its love and support for California State Parks’ PORTS - the Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students® program. On Giving Tuesday (December 1), join us in making a difference by bringing students closer to parks by donating to this enriching virtual-learning program. So please mark your calendars and give if you’re able on Tuesday, December 1. 

Donate here

Welcome to the Parks Family, José and Becky! 

The Parks Family just keeps growing! We want to welcome José G. González as the newest addition to our Board of Directors. He is the founder and director emeritus of Latino Outdoors and an experienced educator in the environmental, outdoor, and conservation fields. We’re happy to learn from José about bringing more equity and inclusion to outdoor spaces. We also want to welcome our new Resource Stewardship Programs Manager, Becky Rittenburg! Becky has worked at the intersection of resource management and youth education for nearly a decade and will lead the development of our emerging conservation program in collaboration with California State Parks. Click here to show Becky and José a warm welcome on social media.

Join Our Growing Team of Park Lovers

Calling all California State Parks lovers – We’re looking for the newest member of the Parks California team! Now seeking an Associate Program Manager – Grants and Operations. Check out the full job description here, and if you’re interested in working on a team dedicated to helping our state parks thrive, please apply today

Apply here

New Website Coming Soon! 

We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes to bring you a new Parks California experience. In the coming month, we’ll be launching a new website for our visitors to enjoy. The new design will be more interactive and engaging – we can hardly wait to share it with you. Stay tuned for more!

Parks That Thrive & Shine

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

State Parks Job Alert  

California State Parks is searching for a program analyst or staff services analyst in Sacramento. If you love pouring over policies and regulations and have a deep love for our parks, this is the job just for you. Be sure to apply. 
Read more

Protecting Against Wildfires 

California State Parks and CAL FIRE is performing prescribed burns in 3 state parks on the North Coast to reduce the number of trees and shrubs while reducing the risk of high severity wildfires to promote forest resilience.
Read more

New Rangers and Lifeguards 

California State Parks is welcoming 42 new rangers and eight new lifeguards to its ranks. Rangers and lifeguards provide protection for park visitors and natural, cultural and historical resources within the state park units. 
Read more

The 3 Things We're Talking About

1. We can’t stop talking about the wonderful Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS) program. Watch the latest story produced by Cox Communications.

2. Governor Gavin Newsom took bold steps to make California the first state in the nation to pledge to conserve 30 percent of land and coastal water by 2030, fighting climate change and protecting biodiversity.

3. We’re proud to be partnering with PORTS and REI for REI Day with PORTS. On Nov. 18 join us for REI Day with PORTS Presents: Keeping Wildlife Wild while Playing Outdoors! and REI Day with PORTS Presents: From the Trails to the Sea - Having Fun Responsibly!

Support Parks California

Caring for 280 California State Parks takes all of us coming together. When you donate to Parks California, you help strengthen parks and inspire all to experience these extraordinary places. Please consider supporting this important work with a donation today
Donate here
Copyright © 2020 Parks California, All rights reserved.

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Parks California
400 Capitol Mall, 9th floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

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