Our Mission

To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state's extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.

California Department of Parks and Recreation

The California Department of Parks and Recreation, popularly known as State Parks, is honored to provide access to parks and open spaces and contribute to a healthier and richer quality of life for Californians and for people all over the world who visit the golden state’s natural wonders.

Equitable access to the outdoors ensures more Californians from all walks of life can reap the benefits for their hearts, minds and bodies for generations to come. California’s state parks and the recreational programs supported by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and its divisions of Boating and Waterways, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation, and Office of Historic Preservation are gateways to these benefits and to opportunities to connect with families, friends and communities.

With 280 state park units, over 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites, 5,200 miles of trails, 3,195 historic buildings and more than 11,000 known prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, the department contains the largest and most diverse recreational, natural and cultural heritage holdings of any state agency in the nation.

More than 68 million people annually visit California’s State Park System. The system includes:

  • Beaches
  • Coastal beaches
  • Conference centers
  • Ghost towns
  • Historic homes
  • Historic monuments
  • Historic parks
  • Lakes and reservoirs
  • Lighthouses
  • Marine parks
  • Museums
  • Natural and cultural preserves
  • Natural reserves
  • Off-Highway vehicle recreation areas
  • Parks
  • Recreation areas
  • Seashores
  • Spanish-era adobe buildings
  • Visitor centers

State Park System lands protect and preserve an unparalleled collection of culturally and environmentally sensitive structures and habitats, threatened plant and animal species, ancient Native American sites, historic structures and artifacts ... the best of California's natural and cultural history.

Additionally, the Office of Grants and Local Services (OGALS) develops grant programs to provide funding for local, state and nonprofit organization projects. Since 1964, more than 7,700 community parks throughout California have been created or improved from OGALS' grant funding. Since 2000, the program has administered approximately $4.7 billion in grant funding throughout California.