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Parks California is excited to announce the 2024 recipients of the Adventure Pass Grants Program! We are providing these nine non-profit organizations with 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.

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 August 31st and are expected to connect nearly 674 fourth graders and 676 family members to participating state parks this year.

Meet the 2024 Adventure Pass Grantees:

California Outdoor Recreation Foundation

2024 Hollister Hills Adventure Pass Program

The 2024 Hollister Hills Adventure Pass Program is a partnership between the California Outdoor Recreation Foundation (CORF), Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA), and Hollister Hills Off-Road Association (HHORA). Hollister Hills SVRA provides multiple types of recreational opportunities, including Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Riding, hiking, camping, picnicking, mountain bike riding and interpretive programs both natural and cultural. This program will introduce 4th graders and their families to Hollister Hills SVRA by providing outdoor interpretive experience and three individual Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses for 4th graders and family members.

City of Carson

The City of Carson’s Urban Wildlife Adventures Project

Through the City of Carson’s Urban Wildlife Adventure Project around 25-30 4th grade students living with a wide spectrum of disabilities (e.g., cognitive, physical) and their families will have the opportunity to partake in a week-long trip with various recreational activities and immersive learning experiences in local parks. The project targets urban youth of Dominguez Elementary area due to their minority student enrollment of 98% and economically disadvantaged population of 75%, to partake in this opportunity. The majority of Carson’s lower-income youth selected for this Urban Wildlife Adventures Project will be experiencing nature for the very first time.

City of Patterson

Patterson 4th Grade Family Field Trip

The Patterson 4th Grade Family Field Trip will provide 25 Patterson 4th grade students and their families the opportunity to spend a day at Millerton Lake State Recreation Area. Bus transportation, food, and staff support will be provided at no expense to the students and family members. Students and family members will engage in activities related to camping, hiking, and interpretive learning, to be determined by City Recreation and State Park interpretation staff per participant interests. This one-day field trip will build upon Patterson’s State-funded Teen Outdoor Explorer program, which currently offers monthly field trips to various nature destinations including State Parks to Patterson high school students. At least one youth leader from Patterson’s Teen Outdoor program will participate in the field trip as part of their service learning.

Friends of California Citrus Park

State Parks Inland Empire District Summer After School Program for 4th Graders

The State Parks Inland Empire District has three parks participating in the Adventure Pass Program — California Citrus Park State Historic Park, Chino Hills State Park, and Mount San Jacinto State Park. Through this grant, Friends of California Citrus Park will be hosting after school programs for 4th graders in coordination with State Parks interpretive staff and outdoor community access groups, such as Latino Outdoors, to outreach to Title I schools in the area to encourage participation from students with limited access. The grant will help pay for bus transportation, materials that students will take home to encourage them to visit other parks participating in the program, and a special craft item as a memento. In addition to learning more about our State’s history, Friends of California Citrus Park will offer families who sign up will receive a $20 gas card, complimentary membership with the Friends of CA Citrus Park, and materials about additional parks to encourage them to visit.

Little Saigon San Diego

Vietnamese & Chinese 4th Graders & Families

Through the Vietnamese & Chinese 4th Graders & Families project, Litte Saigon San Diego host 4 free field trips for approximately 30 Vietnamese and Chinese 4th graders and their families to utilize the Adventure Pass and visit State Parks together.One of Little Saigon SD’s overall goals is to encourage more outdoor physical activities in Vietnamese and Chinese children to start healthy habits for a healthy future. Studies show that Asian adolescents have among the highest rates of physical inactivity. Little Saigon SD hosts events such as the Kids’ Club- Cantonese Playgroup, a monthly family gathering for Chinese and Vietnamese families for outdoor physical and educational activities, as well as programs in self-defense, sports, Vietnamese language school, music, and arts.

Little Saigon San Diego aims to cultivate self sufficient healthy habits in their community, independent from formal programs. This project will support this goal by equipping 4th graders and their families with the Adventure Pass and a sample outdoor field trip, sparking inspiration to continue exploring the great outdoors. In turn, these families can cultivate a life-long habit of visiting California’s parks and nature. Through these trips, Little Saigon San Diego hopes to inspire parents that outdoor adventures do not have to be fancy, but can come in the form of a day-long, educational, and inexpensive trip to a local State Park.

MeWater Foundation

MeWater Foundation Outdoor Education & Surf Camps

MeWater Foundation offers overnight camps to complement single-day surf adventures. Founded in 2015, MeWater partners with more than 20 community organizations and schools to connect us directly to under-resourced youth needing this vital outdoor programming. MeWater Surf and Outdoor Education Camps are free for all participants. The organization serves Bay Area youth from low-income communities, with 94 percent of our families living below the poverty level. Most youth served by MeWater are African American, Asian-Pacific Islander, or Latinx coming from under-resourced communities without access to local parks, and often have never visited a State Park before joining a MeWater camp. The MeWater two-day overnight camps include a vital mix of physical and mental health programming. Camp activities include hiking, nature exploration, a meeting with a State Park Ranger (when available), a day surf camp at a local beach, a hands-on outdoor cooking experience, and camp setup. In addition, MeWater will hold self-reflection and meditation exercises at every camp and engage in social games to build peer connections and support the youth’s and their parents’ social growth. This combination of programming addresses the whole person, bringing incredible joy to the participants! Finally, the curriculum focuses on educating the participants on the benefits of engaging with the outdoors, disconnecting from technology, and repeating visits to local State Parks. MeWater provides multiple camp opportunities and education about the Adventure Pass Program, showing parents the ease of visiting Samuel P. Taylor State Park and other State Parks with their children.

Orange County Coastkeeper

Adventure Awaits with Waterkeeper

Inland Empire Waterkeeper (IEWK), a project of Orange County Coastkeeper, will connect fourth-grade students and their families to different state parks throughout the Santa Ana Watershed in hopes of bridging a connection with their local environment. IEWK will connect with students and families through a workshop that includes the details on how to sign up for the adventure pass and the value of connecting to State Parks. IEWK will host at least two field trips, each trip consisting of at least two different state park locations and will include interactive activities like guided hikes, nature walks, or other park-related experiences. IEWK will prioritize free time for exploration to allow families to connect with the different parks and create a sense of freedom in the program. IEWK will provide bus transportation, park fees, and any other costs that may arise in order to eliminate any barriers that would discourage fourth-grade students and families from attending.

Readi Ministries International

READI 2024 Adventure Pass Grants Program

READI Ministries International (RMI) has a community outdoors events footprint in the Bayview Hunters Point San Francisco Bay Area for public loving and unity involvement social programs for the residents in District #10 of San Francisco. Through this project, RMI will encourage families with 4th graders to visit State Parks this summer, which will be a big boost of morale in the inner city for families that may not have the resources to get their children to these parks, places where they can experience nature, destress, learn, and have fun. RMI will plan these outings park visits with free transportation, food, hiking gear, safety personnel, t-shirts, training and lots of fun freely provided to all family participants.

Un Mar de Colores

Watershed Explorers: From Mountains to Sea

Watershed Explorers is a transformative educational program designed to connect youth with the natural environment, fostering a deeper understanding of watersheds while promoting environmental stewardship and park engagement. Watershed Explorers is open to 4th graders and their families from underserved communities who face challenges accessing outdoor spaces. The program is led by experienced environmental educators and park staff, supported by trained volunteers passionate about environmental conservation. This is a month-long educational program focused on watershed education, environmental stewardship, and outdoor exploration. Participants engage in guided hikes to a waterfall, ocean recreational activities, and interactive environmental workshops to learn about the importance of watersheds and biodiversity. Through hands-on learning and exploration, participants develop a sense of ownership and responsibility for protecting natural resources, ensuring the preservation of parks and open spaces for future generations. Participants in Watershed Explorers are encouraged to return to parks through a workshop on how to sign up for California public library-cards. This way, they can check out the State Library Parks Pass via their local public library and are provided bilingual resources on how to sign up for the Adventure Pass.