Golden Bear Award

The California State Park and Recreation Commission (Commission) is seeking nominations for the Golden Bear Award. Do you know someone worthy of this recognition? Discover the minimum qualifications for this award and how to nominate someone below.



California’s state parks are some of the most loved public lands because of their cultural and historical richness, majestic landscapes and visitors’ memorable recreational stories. In an effort to preserve California’s gems, many dedicated people contribute to the success and upkeep of these lands—from staff to volunteers to nonprofit organizations and concessionaires. To celebrate and acknowledge those who contribute to the California State Park System, the Commission is relaunching the Golden Bear Award.


The Award

The Golden Bear Award recognizes and celebrates the outstanding contributions of employees or retirees from the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), and external organizations and individuals who have made positive impacts to the state park system. Two awards per park region (Northern and Southern), will be presented by the Commission and DPR annually during the fall Commission meeting, beginning in 2019. Recipients of the awards will receive a certificate commemorating their contributions.



Candidate must be a DPR employee or retiree in good standing, an external organization or individual. The nomination must clearly articulate the candidate’s outstanding contributions to the state parks system.



Submit nominations to before June 30, 2019.


Submission Form

Click here for the nomination form.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can nominate candidates?
Organizations or individuals affiliated with or interested in state parks are encouraged to submit nominations for park staff (in good standing), elected officials, volunteers, concessionaires, partners, park users and nonprofit organizations.

Whom should I nominate?
Nominees must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Nominee must be knowledgeable of a particular state park or the state park system, and made a significant contribution to these public lands to deserve the award.
  • Nominee must have enhanced the quality, activities or visitation to a state park.
  • Nominee must be involved in some community program or event to bring awareness to state park(s) within the past five years.

How should I process a nomination?
Submit nominations via email to A detailed description as to why that person(s) or organization should be awarded the Golden Bear Award must be included.

When can I submit my nomination?
Nominations will be accepted each year in the fall. The Commission and DPR’s Communications Office will announce specific dates.

How many awards will be granted each period?
The Golden Bear Awards will be presented once a year. The Commission subcommittee will grant an award for both Southern and Northern California park regions.

What will the award recipient receive?
Recipients of the award will be presented with a Golden Bear certificate.