A Time of New Beginnings for Our State Parks
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,