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Parks California Announces $1 Million Donation from BMO

Multi-Year Investment Will Support Programs that Increase Equitable Access to State Parks and Create Economic Opportunities for Underserved Groups

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – April 30, 2024 – Parks California, the statutory non-profit partner to California State Parks, is proud to announce a multi-year, $1 million partnership with BMO. The four-year grant is among the largest-ever donations made to Parks California and will support a range of programs that help underserved communities visit and feel welcome in state parks, create new economic opportunities through career pathways to park jobs, and strengthen connections between California State Parks, non-profit organizations, and tribes.

“BMO’s commitment to giving is guided by our Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life,” said Melissa Fifield, Head, BMO Climate Institute. “Natural spaces are critical to the health and well-being of our communities and provide valuable economic advancement for a new generation of park stewards across California’s 280 state parks. Through our $1 million donation, we are making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.”

Since 2021, BMO – which was recently named one of the most sustainable companies in North America by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index – has supported Parks California’s projects that advance careers in state parks for traditionally underserved candidates, catalyzing a new environmental stewardship workforce to address the needs of a park system facing emerging climate threats.

“We are excited to join forces with BMO in our shared mission to strengthen and preserve California’s state parks,” said Kindley Walsh Lawlor, President and CEO at Parks California. “This partnership represents a significant investment in the future of state parks, ensuring that they remain accessible and resilient for generations to come. BMO’s support will enable us to increase access to parks for underserved communities, support training for future leaders and stewards of California’s parks and public lands and expand Parks California’s capacity to work with tribes and communities.”

Through its Career Pathways program, Park California is broadening career pathways to better reflect the diversity of the state’s growing population, building the next generation of parks and public land stewards. Additionally, Parks California is increasing equitable access to state parks, especially for under-resourced communities in California, through its Route to Parks program. And through partnerships with organizations like BMO and State Parks, Parks California is creating and implementing innovative, scalable solutions that improve experiences for all park visitors while protecting the natural diversity of California’s 280 state parks.

To learn more about Parks California, visit For more information about BMO’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, visit

About BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.3 trillion as of Jan. 31, 2024. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to 13 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.

About Parks California

Parks California was launched in 2019 as a new model of public, private, and non-profit partnership. As the official statutory, non-profit partner to California State Parks, Parks California works statewide to ensure state, regional, and local parks thrive. Parks California has a simple mission—to help strengthen parks and inspire all to experience these extraordinary places. It currently operates over 30 projects, which are funded by government, public-private partnership agreements as well as the generous support of private donations.

Media Contacts:

Debbie Felix, Parks California,

Lucas Seiler, BMO,