Area organizations are among twelve nonprofits receiving state grants to help students explore the state park system.
The California State Park Adventure Pass gives free entry to fourth graders and their families at 19 participating parks, but many are unable to take advantage of the freebie because of transportation or other limitations.
The new grants will provide funding to help bridge those gaps “so that more fourth graders can begin a lifelong adventure in parks and experience the diversity state parks offer, creating new memories with their families,” said Armando Quintero, California State Parks director.
In addition to assisting with transportation, the grants will help nonprofits provide culturally relevant programs. The grants ranged from $11,000 to $33,000 and are expected to help nearly 1,200 fourth graders and 2,700 family members have access to parks.
“Connecting local children and their families to the San Joaquin River through outdoor experiential education programs is core to our mission,” said Julia O’Kane, board president of the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, one of the 12 grantees. “And being a Parks California grantee means we can introduce fourth-grade students to the educational and recreational opportunities available at Millerton Lake and provide resources to help these students and their families experience all the benefits of spending time together outside. Support from Parks California will contribute to developing future stewards of the San Joaquin River,” she said.
The other regional grantees include:
- Central Coast State Parks Association, serving the Central Coast and facilitating visits to Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History.
- Lowell Community Development Corporation, serving the Central Valley, Central Coast, Santa Cruz, and Capital areas and facilitating visits to Millerton Lake State Recreation Area, Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History, Seacliff State Beach, and California State Railroad Museum.