Outdoor Access For All 

 

 

Outdoor Access For All

Through the Outdoor Access for All initiative, California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom is working to build a healthier and more equitable California for all kids. Quality time in nature is great for kids’ bodies, minds, and hearts, and no state is better-positioned than California to leverage the great outdoors to augment children’s health and well-being — especially for youth in underserved communities.

Today, far too many kids in low-income communities and communities of color don’t have access to nature. In fact, 70% of low-income communities across the country live in “nature-deprived” areas and communities of color are three times more likely than white communities to live in an area that is “nature deprived.”

Why access to state parks?

California is home to 280 state park units, over 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites, and 4,500 miles of trails. These state parks are for everyone, but barriers to park access still exist.

In 2019, the Office of the First Partner and the California State Parks Foundation launched the Pathways to Parks initiative  in collaboration with California State Parks. Through this initiative, the First Partner held several convenings with California youth, state parks advocates, and community leaders to learn more about the positive impacts time outdoors has on young people’s physical and mental health. Coming out of these conversations, the First Partner championed crucial state budget investments to expand access to nature, resulting in two new programs: The California State Park Adventure Pass and the California State Library Parks Pass

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CALIFORNIA STATE PARK ADVENTURE PASS

The California State Park Adventure Pass is a new program that waives day-use entrance fees to 19 state parks for fourth graders and their families for a full year. Learn which parks are included and how your fourth grader can get a pass!

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CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS APP

CA State Parks launched a new mobile app that will make it easier for visitors to connect with nature and enhance access to the nation’s largest state park system. This free mobile app provides visitors with real-time updates about on-the-ground conditions, as well as access to a library of park and trail information, including directions to parks, interactive maps, visitor guidelines, park brochures, points of interest, events and more. Learn more here.

 

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CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY PARKS PASS

Coming Fall 2021 

The State Library Parks Pass will provide library patrons across California with free, day-use state park passes. For updates on this program, please visit: parks.ca.gov/outdooraccessforall

 

Learn more about California State Parks programs! 

Benefits of State Parks 

Nature is a public good that’s crucial for our children’s health and well-being. Scientists estimate that every $1 spent on creating and maintaining park trails can save almost $3 in health care alone. Additional studies show that access to parks and greenspace can: 

  • Increase children’s physical activity 
  • Reduce stress in children
  • Improve children’s academic performance

Kids in Parks Programs 

 

Get your kids outside and exploring nature while learning more about California State Parks! Find out how kids can become junior rangers or  junior lifeguards! Want to help keep our state parks clean for all Californians to enjoy? Your little one can become a “Litter-Getter.” To learn more about these and other state parks programs visit the CA State Parks website.

Thank you to our partners: