SACRAMENTO — California State Parks is seeking public feedback on draft guidelines for $19 million in outdoor program grants to create new or expand access to outdoor programs in underserved communities. Input from the public will help State Parks establish a new grant program – the Outdoor Equity Grant Program – in support of providing equitable access to all Californians. 

“Investing in outdoor programs that give underserved communities access to nature is critical for the health, inspiration and education of Californians,” said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “State Parks looks forward to working with grant applicants to create new educational and recreational activities that strengthen a connection to cultural history and the natural world.”

This competitive grant program, made possible through Assembly Bill 209 (Limón), will increase the ability of residents in underserved communities –with an emphasis on students eligible for free or reduced-price meals, foster youth, and students of limited English proficiency – to participate in outdoor experiences at state parks and other public lands. The program’s focus is on funding transportation, logistics, program operations, and capacity costs associated with reaching historically underserved urban and rural communities throughout California. 

The draft guidelines for the Outdoor Equity Grant Program are available for review online at parks.ca.gov/oep. Comments must be emailed to Supervisor Richard Rendon via email at Richard.Rendon@parks.ca.gov by 5 p.m. (PST) on Feb. 22, 2021. 

The public is also invited to attend one of the following four online public hearings next month:

Outdoor Equity Grant Program Public Hearing 

  • Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021 – 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021 – 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 – 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Thursday Feb. 18, 2021 – 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Please RSVP to the virtual public hearings online at parks.ca.gov/oep

Once finalized, the guidelines will be used by eligible applicants to plan for Outdoor Equity Grant Program grants. Application workshops and guidance will be offered approximately five months before applications are due. The application due date is to be determined. 

Since 1964, more than 7,500 parks throughout California have been created or improved through grant programs administered by the Office of Grants and Local Services (OGALS). The mission of OGALS is to address California’s diverse recreational, cultural and historical resource needs by developing grant programs, administering funds, offering technical assistance, building partnerships and providing leadership through quality customer service. For more information on Proposition 68 programs and other grant programs, visit parks.ca.gov/grants.

About

California State Parks and the recreational programs supported by its divisions of Boating and Waterways, Historic Preservation, and Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation provide the opportunity for families, friends, and communities to connect. Off-highway motor vehicle recreation, boating activities, horseback riding, cycling, hiking, camping, rock climbing, tours, hikes, school group enrichment, and special events are just some of the activities enjoyed in 280 park units organized into 21 field districts throughout the state. Learn more at parks.ca.gov.

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