Volunteers and nonprofit organizations have been an integral, but informal part of California State Parks since its inception. Today, most state parks have formal Volunteers In Parks and Cooperating Associations Programs. These programs are designed to be two separate, but related entities.  Nevertheless, as these programs evolved, the role of each entity sometimes becomes blurred. The resources and links on this page are designed to help further understand the roles and relationships between volunteers, cooperating associations and California State Parks.

A general overview of Roles of Volunteers, Cooperating Associations and California State Parks.

Typical Models of common relationships between California State Parks and cooperating associations.

For a more PDF graphical representation showing the distinctions between cooperating associations and California State Parks, click on relationships graphic.

Each cooperating association has a cooperating association liaison (CAL) appointed by the district superintendent to represent the state to the association. The roles of the CAL are summarized in the PDF file entitled Cooperating Association Liaison.

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