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Kids and California State Parks – Programs and Opportunities for Everyone!

Photo: Junior Rangers – Big Basin

As we venture outside to enjoy the long sunny days, we all have the responsibility to be intentional and mindful of the spaces we’re in. When every person can #RecreateResponsibly, we ensure that our collective footprint is minimal and state parks continue to thrive for everyone to enjoy. 

A crucial step to ensure the sustainability and longevity of some of our most cherished outdoor spaces includes instilling those values in the next generation. Fortunately, California State Parks offers a variety of engaging and accessible programs that teach children and youth to appreciate and care for state parks!

Children ages 7 to 12 can earn badges and become one of the next California State Parks Junior Rangers by virtually exploring more than 70 state parks and completing activities in geology, ecology, history, safety, plants, wildlife and more. Even better – the program is offered in English and Spanish! If you want to see for yourself, check out the recorded programs right here on their YouTube channel!



Photo: Junior Lifeguards

The California State Parks Junior Lifeguards program provides young people ages 8 to 16 with water-safety training and the opportunity to explore new activities like open-water swimming, paddle boarding, surfing, and kayaking. Click here to learn more and find a Junior Lifeguards program near you!

PORTS (Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students) ® Program offers virtual educational programming for K-12 students. With home learning and on-demand options, students in any region can learn all there is to know about California State Parks – streamed directly from the parks! Check out their YouTube channel to get a taste of all PORTS has to offer and click here to learn more about programming available to you.

In addition to these California State Park youth-focused programs, Parks California offers grants and gives opportunities to directly support programs and initiatives getting more kids into nature.

So what are you waiting for? Share these fun-filled California State Park programs with the young adventurers in your life and enjoy the outdoor spaces that are special to you (here’s some inspiration to get you started) – and remember to #RecreateResponsibly, of course. As always, sign up for our email newsletter at the very top of our website to learn more and stay in the know. 

Our Parks for Everyone initiative directly supports these California State Park programs through innovative partnerships and community collaborations – and now you can be a part of that! By donating to Parks for Everyone, your money funds initiatives making parks more welcoming and inclusive for everyone. Learn more here and give today.