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A Time of New Beginnings for Our State Parks

Hi Friends-
In many ways, our state parks are in a journey of change. This is an opportunity to adapt, grow and demonstrate resilience the way nature teaches us, both as individuals and as a collective community.

Amid the California wildfires and park closures, we still find things to celebrate.

One exciting moment of change is welcoming Armando M. Quintero as the new director of the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

Armando has admirable expertise and leadership in outdoor recreation. I first got to know Armando on a hike along the beautiful Lands End Trail in San Francisco; listening and learning from him.

With his leadership, I know California State Parks can continue blossoming and sharing the joy of our beautiful parks with more people. I am looking forward to working alongside Armando and his team to create more equitable park access for all.

I also want to express my gratitude for former director, Lisa Mangat. She was fundamental in creating Parks California, and she welcomed me to this great park system. She is a thoughtful leader and mentor, and I know she will be successful in her new role.

While Armando’s arrival at California State Parks is a very exciting moment, not all changes are as easy to adapt to.

If you’re like me, your heart is breaking as the devastating wildfires ravage through California, destroying entire communities and some of our beautiful state parks.

As I looked at pictures of the charred land and former buildings in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, I realized many of our beloved spaces will never be the same. Through my own period of grief, I found a sense of pride in our resilient community, and I encourage you to find these threads of hope with me.

If you’re looking for ways to aid the recovery efforts, you can make a difference by donating to the Sempervirens Fund, Save the Redwoods League, California State Parks Foundation, and California Community Foundation. I’m grateful for these organizations’ leadership during the ongoing wildfires.

While our parks family adapts and grows, I’d like to invite you to learn more about our upcoming programs and other parks news below. May we all embrace these new chapters and move forward with hope.

Stay safe and hug the ones you love,


Adventuring in State Parks 

In August, we kicked off our ParkSpeak series with a visit to Patrick’s Point State Park. If you missed it, you’re in luck! You can check it out here.

We invite you to join us for guided tours that highlight the unique history of each park, complete with the behind-the-scenes anecdotes, people and little-known facts. You can RSVP for the two upcoming ParkSpeak events here, including:

RSVP here

New Grants to Safely Reopen State Parks

A few months ago, we introduced a grants program designed to support California State Parks in the safe reopening of state park visitor centers, bookstores, museums and gift shops. We received a great response to our Reopening California State Parks, COVID-19 Small Grants Program – and we’re happy to announce a new grants program in partnership with the California League of Park Associations!

The Assistance Grant: Adapting for a Safe Reopening program will help current CALPA members safely reopen our parks while promoting visitor and staff safety. Learn about his opportunity here.

Apply here
Sumeg Village at Patrick's Point State Park
Photo Courtesy: PORTS

PORTS is Going Back to School

Our friends at California State Parks PORTS Distance Learning Program are working hard to get ready for the 2020-2021 PORTS On-Demand and Home Learning Program school year.

PORTS will launch its new program on September 15, which will provide access to the cultural, natural, and historic resources of our parks. For more information, stay tuned or follow PORTS on social media here.

With PORTS, students can visit and learn about the cultural heritage, natural features and wildlife of our state’s 280 parks from the comfort of their own home. You can support children’s education through the PORTS programs by donating today.

Donate here

Parks That Thrive & Shine

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

Saving Ancient Redwoods

Firefighters and state natural resources crews traveled through towering redwoods to save the 1,400-year-old Colonel Armstrong redwood tree in Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve.
Read more

Keeping History Alive

Casey Dexter-Lee of Marin County is keeping the history of Angel Island State Park alive. For over two decades, she’s told the island’s eclectic stories in tours and as a state park interpreter.
Read more

Supporting State Parks 

Napa Valley State Parks Association launched an online auction to help support Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park, Bothe-Napa Valley State Park and Robert Louis Stevenson State Park
Read more

The 3 Things We're Talking About

1. Innovative distance learning programs like PORTS are able to reduce barriers and expand state park visitation with support from our parks family

2. Our team just got a little bigger! Please join us in welcoming our newest Community Engagement Intern Lilian Bui to the Parks California family

3. Communities throughout California are coming together to support each other during the wildfires and those forced to evacuate

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
Copyright © 2020 Parks California, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Parks California
400 Capitol Mall, 9th floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

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