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Transforming California State Parks

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Lisa Mangat

Message from Lisa Mangat, Director

We are in an exciting time of opportunity and challenge that can result in positive and sustainable change for our Department. Through this process we will achieve the vision outlined in the draft Transformation Action Plan. Through the collective efforts and continued dedication of our staff, partners, and stakeholders, the system will become stronger. We will be positioned to be most effective in protecting California's most valuable and cherished resources, providing the best services and experiences that Californians should expect from their State Parks, and becoming more nimble in the future. Together we have an opportunity to achieve excellence as we transform California's treasured park system into the world class model for State Parks; I invite you to join me in this pursuit.

Message from Steve Szalay, Team Leader

Our 150 year old California Department of Parks and Recreation is entering a very challenging and exciting two year Transformation Period. While desiring to retain the grandeur, beauty, and history of the parks, there is now a critical need for positive changes to our organization that will greatly improve our ability to provide excellent services in a cost-effective, creative and accountable environment.

Using the Parks Forward Commission's report as a beginning, a Transformation Team has been established. This team is comprised of qualified, experienced and dedicated personnel from State Parks staff, outside entities and professional consultants. The Transformation Team, along with input from staff, stakeholders, and partners, will be working through a number of initiatives that will lead to positive change. This process will be fluid and constantly evolving. Check back regularly as we'll keep you updated on the team's progress.

Steve Szalay

Transformation Team Initiatives and Committees

The Administration assembled a Transformation Team (Team) in the fall of 2014 with the appointment of the Transformation Team leader, Steve Szalay. The Team, comprised of qualified experienced and dedicated personnel from State Parks staff, outside entities and professional consultants, developed a tactical Transformation Action Plan. The plan set forth four strategic goals for the state parks system:

1. Protect and Enhance Natural and Cultural Resources
2. Develop Excellent Management Systems
3. Maintain High Quality Operations and Public Service
4. Create Meaningful Connections and Relevancy to People

Employees, partners, volunteers, engaged communities and Team members together are bringing about transformation. Below you will find some of these accomplishments.  We invite you to read the documents, share your feedback with us and keep visiting this website. You can also stay up-to-date on this important effort by following us on “Transformation Tuesdays” on Facebook and Twitter, or by reading our blog.

This is an exciting time for California State Parks and we invite you to be part it.

Transformation Initiatives and Projects
February 2016
Information on the Transformation Team structure, including breakdown of committees and assignments. The purpose of the document is to provide a centralized document for tracking Transformation effort planning and progress in order to provide transparency into the Transformation effort approach. InitiativesProjects

Progress Report
September 2015
Outlines California State Parks’ accomplishments from fall 2014 to September 2015. Details on specific initiatives and projects are highlighted. View Report

Leadership Meeting Materials
December 2015
Material that was presented and discussed among 180 department leaders, including success stories, revenue enhancements, team building and legislative updates. The three-day meeting was a rounding success, giving State Parks’ leaders an opportunity to share ideas and feedback with each other and the executive staff. View Documents

Transformation Action Plan
April 2015
This plan outlines strategic goals as well as 30 different priority initiatives for State Parks. The Transformation Action Plan closely follows the Parks Forward final report’s four basic themes, such as making fundamental changes to the Department, enhancing partnerships, expanding park access, and garnering stable and diversified funding. View Plan

Transformation Team Initiatives and Committees
April 2015
31 initiatives are aligned within the Transformation Team Strategic Goals organized into eight committees. Additional committee members will be added from internal and external resources as the process evolves. View Document

News Releases

Parks Leaders Herald New Laws to Strengthen Partnerships, Leverage Resources, Oct. 13, 2015
Governor Signs Legislation to Enhance California’s State Park System, Oct. 9, 2015
California State Parks’ Transformation Team Releases Action Plan, Launches New Website, Feb. 6, 2015
California State Parks Announces Transformation Team, Jan. 22, 2015

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