California State Parks Foundation needs volunteers for Earth Day event


Camille Dunning

The California State Parks Foundation is conducting cleanups and park and community improvement projects across more than 36 state parks. This is a great opportunity for California residents to better their planet and give back to their parks.

Camille Dunning, Staff Writer

The clang of aluminum Sprite cans and the crinkle of loose Doritos bags are familiar sounds to volunteers at the California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup.  

The CSPF Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup provides opportunities for California residents to do something meaningful for the planet and give back to the state parks and their communities.

The event takes place each year on Earth Day, April 22, at more than 36 state parks.  This year, it will fall on a Saturday and is planned to start at 9 a.m. and conclude at 1 p.m.  Volunteers will assist in wildlife habitat restoration, tree planting, garden conservation, beach and lake cleanups, trail and road repair, campground improvements, and much more.

“I am fervently in support of this program and all it is doing to benefit Californians because so many of them rely on these parks for education and recreational activities,” said Keri DuLaney-Greger, a Berkeley resident and an English professor at Diablo Valley College.

Since its inception in 1998, the CSPF Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup program has witnessed a total of 80,967 active participants contributing more than 334,301 volunteer hours, according to the CSPF website.  Through these hours, $6.39 million worth of park maintenance and improvements has been generated.  An additional $4.6 million has been raised through this program to benefit state parks in other ways.

“It’s obvious that these events have had a positive impact on not only the foundation but also the environment.  California is the most scenic state in the nation, and we must keep going forward to preserve that,” said Christina Kattuah, an El Cerrito resident.  

Even if it ends up being minuscule, I want to contribute in some way to maintaining what California is most known for: its beauty.”

— Jeff Kleck


However, the State Parks Foundation still faces a $1 billion pileup of overdue projects, as well as a deficiency in staffing and programs. This year, a total of 6,755 volunteers across all state parks are needed.  Businesses, groups, or individuals interested in partaking in this year’s event are encouraged to register at the CSPF website or call 1-888-98-PARKS.  Registration opens on Feb. 20.

Jeff Kleck, CEO of Redwood City-based medical software company iSchemaView, said, “I will definitely think of having our company participate.  Even if it ends up being minuscule, I want to contribute in some way to maintaining what California is most known for:  its beauty.”