State Parks Newsletter June 2024

18 artists and partners in Big Basin Redwoods State Park

As part of our 5-year birthday celebration, we are bringing back our monthly newsletter! We’ve missed sharing regular updates and news with you – our incredible community of park supporters – and we’re excited to kick off summer with our June edition.

Read on to learn about the grand opening of California’s newest state park and the kick-off of California State Parks Week, be inspired by the artists who captured Big Basin’s revival following a devastating fire, hear how you can taste a special beer that was brewed to support parks, find out what our team has been up to, and get a feel for how we are celebrating our big five-year milestone.

As always, you can update your email preferences by clicking on the subscription link in the footer of this email.

California Outdoor Recreation Foundation at Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area on dirt bikes

Program Spotlight: For People, For Nature, For the Future

Did you know that fourth graders and their families can visit 54 California State Parks for free through the Adventure Pass Program? Sometimes challenges, like getting to a park or finding relevant activities there, can prevent people from enjoying these incredible spaces. That’s why we created the Adventure Pass Grants Program to fund nonprofit organizations who connect families to parks. We just awarded nine amazing grantees who will help over 600 fourth graders reach parks this summer by removing transportation barriers, providing free programs, and/or multilingual experiences. Read about them here and watch a video featuring one of our past grantees, San Mateo Parks Libraries.

Artists draws with inspiration from Big Basin

Art + Nature

Last summer, 18 artists explored Big Basin Redwoods State Park to learn more about the work being done to revitalize it following a massive lightning strike fire, and then created works of art to celebrate this inspiring place. This Saturday, June 15, you can be one the first to see the art on display, and then take an adventure in the park to create your own art or go on a guided walk. Spaces are filling up fast!  Learn more about the artists’ experience and find the link to RSVP here. Please consider an eco-friendly travel option by parking for free at the Scotts Valley Transit Center and taking the Santa Cruz Metro Route 35B bus directly to the park!

Parks CA Michael Bridges with Park Hopper IPA

Parks California Happenings

Cheers, friends! The Park Hopper West Coast IPA has arrived! Once again, we are excited to collab with Smog City Brewing Co. for the fourth consecutive release of their Community Impact Series beer. Park Hopper is a wonderfully balanced IPA bursting with tropical flavor. Proceeds from sales of Park Hopper support Parks California. Enjoy a glass of Park Hopper IPA and raise a toast to fostering strong communities and our incredible state parks. You can visit the taproom in Torrance, CA or buy in select Trader Joe’s as far north as Oakland, CA. Pro tip: go soon! This special edition beer sells out quickly every year.

Parks CA programs team with state parks staff at the Salton Sea

Behind the Scenes at Parks California
In May, our Programs team visited Salton Sea State Recreation Area in the Palm Springs area as part of its annual internal planning workshop. The visit was coordinated in advance with Ocotillo Wells District staff, who gave our team a presentation on the park’s daily operations, current projects and opportunities for us to support their needs. The team stopped for a picnic lunch at Bombay Beach, where the district staff shared the wonders of the West Bombay Restoration Project, a project led by the California Department of Water Resources in conjunction with the California Natural Resources Agency.

Graphic of a cake with Parks CA logo in the center

Celebrating Five Years
Did you know that one of Parks California’s first programs was launching passPORTS as a pilot in 2020, in partnership with California State Parks? The program brings California State Parks into classrooms, and originally started with five state park locations and grew to 10 sites in its second year. Today, passPORTS reaches about 5,000 students — virtually and in-person — each year with over 55 participating parks across California!

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Parks California relies on the generous support of donors who partner with us to invest in making parks more welcoming, inclusive, and climate resilient.  We work statewide as the official statutory non-profit partner to California State Parks.

We were launched in 2019 to be a new model of public, private, and non-profit partnership, making us uniquely positioned to innovate and work hand-in-hand with communities and experts to ensure that everyone can experience healthy and thriving parks for generations to come.

If you would like to support this work with a tax-deductible donation, please tap the donate button.

ParksCalifornia is a 501c3 nonprofit organization (EIN #83-1523594).