California State Parks Encourages Californians to Invest More Time in the Outdoors on Earth Day


What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by visiting the outdoors and learning how you can help protect natural and cultural resources? California has over 200 state park and beaches that can be enjoyed this Earth Day (Saturday, April 22) and year-round to go on a hike, walk among the giant sequoias and redwoods, discover the waterfalls along the trails, get a glimpse of the wildlife or simply enjoy the breathtaking views along the coastline or mountains.

“2023’s Earth Day theme is ‘Invest in Our Planet,’ and I invite all Californians to try to invest a little more time to the outdoors,” said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “Get inspired and take action to make our communities, parks and planet more sustainable, cleaner, accessible, equitable and safer for all.”

On Saturday, April 22, several state parks will have activities for the public to participate in, including cleanups at Carpinteria State Beach and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (SHP) and a BioBlitz at Castle Rock State Park. If you cannot head to outdoors, join us for a special virtual event, as staff will be livestreaming from Calaveras Big Trees, Mount Tamalpais and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks for a program called “Small Actions, BIG TREES: The Story of the Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia.”

A list of statewide events for departments under the California Natural Resources Agency is available online at Below are some in-person and virtual Earth Day events being held at state park units:

Event:Earth Day at Los Angeles SHP

Date and time: Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Description: Volunteers will learn about monarch butterfly conservation and the role of native plants in their survival. We will plant native milkweed and other pollinator-supporter plants and use hand tools to clear the area of weeds. After the plants are installed, groups will work together to water and mulch the planting beds. Staff will host family-friendly art and educational activities that allow volunteers to learn more about pollinators. All ages welcome.

Event:Earth Day Cleanup at Old Town San Diego SHP

Date and time: Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Description: Help keep the historic park clean and learn how you can positively impact the San Diego Watershed.

Event:Climate Action Workday at Millerton Lake State Recreation Area

Date and time: Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Description: Volunteers will help with maintenance projects to prevent erosion and build wildfire resiliency in the park. To reduce wildfire risk, volunteers will replace split-rail fencing to prevent vehicles from driving off-road into dry grass. A separate group will help plant native trees and spread mulch in the Meadows Cove day-use area. 

Event:Beach Cleanup at Carpinteria State Beach

Date and time: Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Description: Celebrate Earth Day by helping keep your beautiful beach clean with a coastal cleanup. Participants can bring a bucket and gloves, or you can borrow some to clean up the pollution at the beach. All ages are welcome, and kids can also earn a Junior Ranger badge.

Event:Earth Day BioBlitz at Castle Rock State Park

Date and time: Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Description: What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by surveying your favorite park to discover as many different critters and plants as you can for community science? Don’t know the trails, or would just like some company? Docents will guide you to the best spots in the park. Meet at for the bio-briefing at the Kirkwood Entrance parking lot, then hit the trails and get exploring. Bring a way to document your findings—phone or tablet, camera, voice recorder, notebook or sketchbook. All ages welcome. Free event, however, vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 291-8273 or visit Event made possible by the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation and State Parks.

Event:Noyo Food Forest

Date and time: Saturday, April 22, from noon to 5 p.m.

Description: Sonoma-Mendocino Coast State Parks will host a booth at this free public event that will feature music, food, educational activities and more.

Event:Small Actions, BIG TREES: The Story of the Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia (Virtual)

Date and time: Saturday, April 22, at 2:30 p.m.

Description: Join this livestream from the Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS) Program YouTubechannel, as staff will be live from Calaveras Big Trees, Mount Tamalpais and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks, discussing the history behind these amazing forests and what you can do now to protect them.

Event:Profits or Pollution?: Railroad Barons vs. the Environment Game (Virtual)

Date and time: Monday, April 24, at 10:30 a.m.

Description: Join PORTS Program staff at the California State Railroad Museum for a chance to walk in the shoes of a 19th-century railroad executive. Learn about the tough choices faced by these executives of the past, as you try to make money for your railroad company while trying to protect the environment. Will you make as much money as the barons of the past? Will you do better at protecting our environment? Tune in to find out.

Event:Washoe Earth Day

Date and time: Saturday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Description: State Parks staff will have a booth at this free event, and visitors can interact with the Washoe community and learn about achievements and ongoing projects. The event will feature games, educators, food and arts and crafts.

 State Parks looks forward to seeing Californians on trails, beaches, mountains and the deserts on Earth Day, but asks for all to please recreate responsibly:

  • Know Before You Go – Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place, and to find out if your destination may be temporarily closed. Have a backup plan in case your destination is crowded.
  • Play It Safe – Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the state park system. For example, make sure to dress in layers, bring plenty of snacks and water, and wear appropriate hiking shoes.
  • Leave No Trace – Leave areas better than how you found them by staying on designated trails and packing out all trash. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
  • Download the Mobile App – Visitors are invited to download the California State Parks mobile app, which allows users to download park unit maps and receive up-to-date information on any trail closures and events. Powered by OuterSpatial, the app has park information, route details and virtual badges you can collect as you visit parks. Visitors can download the app here.
  • Don’t Doom the Bloom – If you plan on visiting a park to view wildflower blooms, make sure to first visit the Wildflower Bloom webpage for up-to-date information on the blooms and tips to safely and responsibly view them.

California’s State Park System has 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. Plus, there are also many other local and national parks across the state that Californians can enjoy on Earth Day and year-round.

This Earth Day, invest time in the outdoors.
This Earth Day, invest time in the outdoors.

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California State Parks provides 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.