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First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, California State Parks, and Parks California are thrilled to announce the first-ever recipients of the Adventure Pass Grants Program. These 12 non-profit organizations are being provided funds to support a range of programs that will help fourth graders and their families travel to and explore participating California State Parks using the Adventure Pass.

“State programs like the California Adventure Pass encourage fourth graders and their families to explore our state’s extraordinary park system and reap the benefits of spending time outdoors by reducing the financial burden on parents and caregivers,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom. “I’m so grateful to the incredible organizations partnering with us to further minimize potential hindrances and expand access to California State Parks for more fourth graders and their families through transportation vouchers, free activities and programming, and multilingual resources.”

“The ultimate goal of Blue Lake Rancheria and Save California Salmon’s Ignite the Flame project is to engage with local Tribes, cultural leaders, and Redwood State Parks to provide access and culturally appropriate place-based learning at the parks for Native and Latinx students and their families,” explained Save California Salmon’s education director Charley Reed. “We aim to work with partners to remove the barriers families have faced in accessing the parks; such as admission and camping costs and transportation needs, and to create a narrative that includes Native and Latinx voices and traditional knowledge in California State Parks.”

Studies show that spending time in parks and greenspace can lead to a range of benefits for young people:
– Improvements in physical well-being, social and emotional learning, and even academic outcomes
– Children experiencing reduced stress and demonstrating more enthusiasm for school

Activities will take place now through December 31st and are expected to connect nearly 1,200 fourth graders and 2,700 family members to participating state parks this year.

Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project Go Fourth and Explore!

Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project (ANV) serves youth in East Oakland, a low-income densely populated area suffering from high crime rates, urban blight, and pollution. ANV’s Go Fourth and Explore! program will provide the opportunity for fourth graders and their families to visit three Bay Area state parks. Participants will enjoy each park’s unique characteristics and geographical terrain. At Angel Island State Park, youth will explore and work together to complete the Angel Island Jr Ranger Activity book. At Jack London State Historical Park, participants will utilize the State Park Adventurer AR App in conjunction with their “Leadership Packet” to learn about the park’s historical significance. The final trip will be to Samuel P. Taylor State Park, where families will spend a day taking guided nature walks, picnicking, and chatting with a park ranger. Families will also take pictures with a photographer and receive commemorative framed photos.

California Outdoor Recreation Foundation Hollister Hills SVRA Adventure Pass Program

The California Outdoor Recreation Foundation (CORF), in partnership with Hollister Hills SVRA and Hollister Hills Off-Road Association, will provide fourth graders and their families within the Hollister and Salinas communities with experiences at Hollister Hills SVRA. Fourth graders will enjoy two outdoor interpretive experiences and their families will receive information on how to obtain a free fuel voucher to return to the park as a family. All fourth graders and their families will also be invited to take beginners dirt bike riding classes hosted by CORF’s Motorcycle Safety Foundation at no cost. The courses will include all equipment, safety gear and safe riding instruction, riding etiquette, and tread lightly concepts.

Central Coast State Parks Association Coastal Explorers: Discover Morro Bay State Park

The Coastal Explorers program invites fourth graders from underserved communities to the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History (MBMNH) for a free guided experience in the museum and its surrounding coastal area. This grant will allow Central Coast State Parks Association (CCSPA) to offer free transportation for participants, including those who may be visiting from as far as three hours away. CCSPA will also offer fourth graders the opportunity to return with their families by providing free admission to the MBMNH, gas cards, and an “adventure kit” containing a backpack, sunscreen, reusable water bottle, hat, and activity booklets themed for the park. Local community business partner Central Coast Outdoors will provide a free kayaking experience for the fourth graders and their families on their return visit.

Chino Hills State Park Interpretive Association From Libraries to Parks – 4th Grade Adventure Pass Days

From Libraries to Parks – 4th Grade Adventure Pass Days will engage students and their families in multiple locations on the same day. Each program has two parts: a 1-hour program at the local library, followed by a program at Chino Hills State Park. State Park staff and volunteers will also help families sign up for the Adventure Pass using the library resources. For those without transportation access, shuttles will be provided to the State Park along with a box lunch.

Lowell Community Development Corporation Lowell Wilderness Program

Located in the Fresno area, Lowell Community Development Corporation (CDC) connects and equips families with the resources, education, skills, and transportation to access public lands for recreation and education. The Lowell Wilderness Program builds upon Lowell CDC’s pilot that concluded in mid-2021, helping low-income families in the Lowell neighborhood to access State Parks and public lands. Families will have the opportunity to participate in one or more trips to State Parks in the next year, learning more about the environment and natural resources, gaining critical skills to navigate wilderness areas, and building confidence and connections with themselves, their families, our history, and the environment. Participants will have the opportunity to visit Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History, Seacliff State Beach, Millerton Lake State Recreation Area, and the California State Railroad Museum.

MeWater Foundation, MeWater Adventure Pass Surf & Outdoor Education Camps

MeWater Foundation (MeWater) will provide local underserved fourth graders and their families with overnight education camps at Samuel P. Taylor State Park and Alice Eastwood Camp at Mount Tamalpais State Park. MeWater has been serving low-income communities from Hunter’s Point, Bayview, and Visitacion Valley since 2015 with outdoor camps and has established relationships with the families who will attend these camps. Camp activities include hiking, educational games, a surf experience at a local beach, camping, and nature exploration. Families will visit Samuel P. Taylor State Park for an educational outdoor camping experience. The program will also encourage the families to visit Samuel P. Taylor State Park on their own.

Nature for All, All Aboard for Nature- 4th Grade Trips to Chino Hills State Park

Nature for All’s programs seek to increase equitable access to natural areas in and around Los Angeles for disadvantaged communities, including those hit hardest by the pandemic and with the least access to open spaces. Through this grant, Nature for All will provide 10 free wellness-focused trips to Chino Hills State Park for at least 200 community members with transportation, family-friendly and educational activities, meals, and interpretation from bilingual naturalists. The events are planned to take place monthly, barring any issues such as a pandemic resurgence or local wildfires.

Oakland Unified School District Oakland Goes Outdoors: Fourth-Grade Families

Oakland Goes Outdoors (OGO) seeks to serve fourth-grade students and their families at ten Title I schools in Oakland Unified School District during two academic years, 2022-23 (spring) and 2023-24 (fall). Fourth-grade students will participate in classroom trips to Samuel P. Taylor State Park and a Family Adventure Night where participants can apply for State Park Adventure Passes, sign up for training, and learn about transportation offerings. Families will use transportation vouchers, receive an adventure pack for a self-guided visit, and be able to meet with Oakland Goes Outdoors staff to help plan a self-guided trip. The goals of this program are to increase access and feelings of connectedness for families, increase desire and perceived ability to access nature and the environment, to create partnerships between the school district and families, and to increase environmental literacy and understanding of natural environments.

San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust Family Adventures at Millerton (FAM) Program

The Family Adventures at Millerton (FAM) program will directly serve approximately 150 Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) 4th-grade students and up to 300 family members over two program sessions in 2023. The program will also indirectly serve the greater FUSD 4th-grade population by providing multilingual resources and training to school resource staff at each of the 68 FUSD elementary schools to assist families with registering for the Adventure Pass program. Families will engage in a program introduction session at the school site and two trips to Millerton Lake State Recreation Area (LSRA) with guided activities provided by Trust and State Parks staff. Additionally, fourth graders will participate in a Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS) presentation with Millerton’s Interpreter and a field trip to Millerton with educational activities designed to support 4th-grade NGSS standards. At the program’s close, each participating family will receive a $30 gas card to facilitate future trips to Millerton LSRA, and will be added to a group communication app to coordinate carpooling directly with one another.

San Mateo County Libraries Library Explorers At Our State Parks

Library Explorers at Our State Parks is an interactive, STEAM-based summer learning program that promotes mental wellness, discusses EDI topics, and explores STEAM. The goal is to ignite growth and provide transformative experiences to fourth graders and their families, especially focusing on the low-income residents of North Fair Oaks, East Palo Alto, and Half Moon Bay/Pescadero. In addition, this program will continue to expand the summer learning program “Library Explorers”, a theme launched in 2021 as a library summer camp that addressed learning loss, social-emotional learning, as well as anxiety and depression in youth due to COVID-19. Participants will visit four State Parks that were chosen for their unique features and ability to touch on topics concerning mental health, EDI, and STEAM: Hollister Hills State Vehicle Recreation Area, Samuel P. Taylor Park, the California State Railroad Museum, and Jack London State Historic. Participants will also be offered excursions to local county parks for musical performances or library staff-led STEAM activities. Free transportation to the state parks will be provided to program participants. For county park visits, program participants will be offered gas cards or ride-share vouchers.

Save California Salmon Ignite the Flame

Working to address the disparity between the educational experience of students in Humboldt County’s inland rural communities and students in the larger cities on the coast, which particularly impacts the Indigenous and Latino students, Save California Salmon, in partnership with Blue Lake Rancheria’s (BLR) Tribal Education Agency (TEA), aims to be a bridge for the county’s rural fourth-grade students and their families who most often face obstacles to experiencing Sue-meg State Park (SP) in Trinidad, CA. Ignite the Flame will offer a series of entry points into the park and two Family Days hosted at Sue-meg for fourth graders and their families. Through this grant, this family- and culture-focused program will address primary roadblocks to experiencing the park with transportation, access and curated, culturally relevant programming. This program will likewise serve as an introduction to an existing program BLR has developed with CA State Parks North Coast Redwoods District (NCRD), called Kindling the Flame, which has funded Native 6th-12th grade students out to the park for six weekends at a time over the course of two years.

Sierra Club Foundation (Fiscal sponsor of Angeles Inspiring Connections Outdoors) Family Camping with Inspiring Connections Outdoors

The Family Camping with Inspiring Connections Outdoors project involves two three-night camping trips for two groups of fourth graders and their families at Silver Strand State Beach. Angeles Inspiring Connection Outdoors works closely with teachers at two public elementary schools, UCLA Community School in Los Angeles and Abbot Elementary School in Lynwood, which are both urban Title I schools. The camping experience will include hiking, exploring the visitor center exhibits, campfire stories, and star gazing as well as providing opportunities for swimming, kayaking, and playing in the sand. Participants will learn about local ecosystems, camping skills, and Leave No Trace ethics.