Resources and Tools

Welcome to the Interpretive Resources and Tools webpages for California State Parks.  Here you will find resources from California State Parks that may be of interest or use to interpreters and other park staff.  From Photographic Archives to Interpretive Providers, these pages will assist you in getting information, statistics, recommendations, and ideas that we hope assist you in meeting the needs of your visitors. If you have any comments, suggestions, or ideas on how to improve this site or questions about the resources included here, contact the Interpretation and Education Division at Interpretation.Staff@parks.ca.gov.

For ease of navigation, the resources included on this site are separated into the following categories:

Program Policies and Handbooks
From A (Accessibility) to V (Volunteers), this is your one-stop location for policies and guidance related to many Department programs related to interpretation. Included on this page is information about and links to the following:

  • Interpretation and Education Chapter, California State Parks Department Operations Manual
  • Creations of the Mind: California State Parks Intellectual Property Handbook
  • Junior Ranger Program Handbook (and Adventure Guide)
  • Volunteers in Parks Program Guidelines
  • Donor and Sponsorship Recognition Guidelines
  • Parks Accessibility Guidelines and Transition Plan
  • Cooperating Association Program Manual
  • Children in Nature campaign website
  • Ft Ross Interpretive Special Event Training Handbook
  • Summer Learning Program Report

Interpretive Services Coordination and Management
Are you coordinating, supervising or managing interpretation in State Parks? If so, you should find the information on this page useful for such things as evaluation of interpretive presenters, training tools, and guidance on applying for grants. Included on this page:

  • Aiming for Excellence: An Evaluation Handbook for Interpretive Services in California State Parks
  • Basic Interpretation Learning System
  • The Catalyst newsletter
  • School Group Program Evaluation results
  • Guidance on grants for parks and recreation providers.
  • Integrating Academic Content Standards into Interpretive Programs Online Training

Interpretive Services Creation and Development
Now we're getting into the nitty-gritty, the nuts and bolts of what we interpreters do. You'll find useful background information on this page, guidance on interpretive planning and completed plans, our interpretive providers database, and much more. Included on this page:

  • Science, Poetry and Parks: A Sourcebook for Interpreters of California's Natural History
  • Interpretive Providers Database
  • California State Parks Interpretation Planning Workbook
  • Completed Interpretation Master and Action Plans
  • Sample Interpretive Service Plans
  • The Baker's Handbook
  • Guide for Preparing a Furnishing Plan
  • All Visitors Welcome: Accessibility in State Park Interpretive Programs and Facilities
  • California in Time chronology
  • Five Views: An Ethnic History Site Survey for California
  • Guide to the California State Parks Photo Archives
  • Blank Park Activities Announcements templates

Useful Information for Park Visitors
Want something you can lay your hands on quickly and immediately provide to your visitors? Then make sure to check out this page with everything from information on our Park Panel Program to download-and-print brochure inserts and bulletin board flyers. Included on this page:

  • Park Panel Program
  • Transcripts of videos shown in our parks
  • Guides for educators
  • Informational brochures, inserts, and flyers suitable for copying and distribution
  • Guide to Environmental Education Programs