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Broadening access and opportunities for careers in natural resources

Environmental stewardship comes in many forms. You may be practicing these daily and not even know it. It’s as simple as picking up litter while hiking along a trail. It’s sharing powerful stories and traditions of a familiar landscape through multiple generationsIt’s volunteering to plant native plants at your local park. It’s bringing your family back to a favorite trail, picnic spot, or beach to build more cherished memories and connections to our landscapes. 

For some, that personal commitment to stewardship grows into a professional career path. There are many rewarding careers in the natural resources field – whether you like getting outside and getting your hands dirty, crunching through data and maps behind a screenplanning large projects, working with partners and communities, or leading teams!  Natural resource professionals can find their niche as plannersdata scientists, restoration specialists, researchers, team leads, among many other stewardship career paths.  

To meet the pressing challenges faced by our landscapes, we need more trained stewards, at all professional levels and across the state to implement climate resilient solutions. Historically, accessing training and job skills development in the natural resources field has not been readily accessible for all Californians — yet rewarding career opportunities exist in all pockets of the state to manage California’s natural resources. There’s great potential to further build pathways from communities to jobs and careers in local landscapes.  

To grow and strengthen our workforce, Parks California is committed to increasing access and broadening career pathways to reflect the rich diversity of California’s growing population. Bringing diverse perspectives, lived experiences, and Indigenous knowledge into landscape stewardship builds strength and resilience to the treasured places we share.  Combining the forces of personal, place-based, and often multi-generational connections to landscapes with career opportunities to steward those places can lead to powerful impact. 

To this end, we are thrilled to announce the launch of Parks California Natural Resource Stewardship Career Pathways pilot grants program. 

Through this grant program, we will support organizations that broaden access, mentorship, and training to communities that have been traditionally underrepresented in the natural resource field. Organizations that provide practical professional experience and job training skills that lead to meaningful careers in natural resources while offering exposure to the types of impactful jobs that support environmental stewardship of our state parks.  

Follow along throughout the year as we showcase stories of organizations and individuals that are breaking down barriers and broadening pathways in the environmental stewardship field.