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California Department of Parks and Recreation

The mission of the California Department of Parks and Recreation is 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.

Two of the Department’s key roles include providing:

  1. Oversight of the California State Park System, and
  2. Support of local recreation through grant programs, statewide planning, and new partnerships.
Surfers at state beach in the sunset

The State Park System

The State Park System protects and preserves California's significant natural and cultural resources.

With more than 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites and 4,500 miles of trails, the State Park System provides outstanding recreational, educational, and inspirational opportunities for over 67 million visitors a year. Off-highway motor vehicle recreation, boating, horseback riding, on and off-road cycling, hiking, camping, rock climbing, historic tours, hikes, school group enrichment, and special events are just some of the activities enjoyed in 280 state parks.

View the Visit a Park webpage for more information about California State Parks.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation also provides Local Assistance programs throughout the State.

Woman and child on trail in forest

Grant Programs

Office of Grants and Local Services (OGALS)

OGALS develops local assistance grant programs for local agency, state, and nonprofit organization projects. Since 1965, more than 7,500 parks in California have been created or improved through OGALS’ grant programs. Since 2000, OGALS has administered nearly $4 billion in local assistance grants from a variety of funding sources. To learn more, visit the OGALS website.

Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW)

DBW offers grants and loans for Universities and colleges, nonprofit organizations, local government and public agencies. Types of projects include facilities, equipment and education. To learn more, visit the DBW Grant Programs website.

Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division

The OHMVR Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program (Grants Program) provides financial assistance to cities, counties, districts, federal and state agencies, educational institutions, federally recognized Native American Tribes, and nonprofit entities to manage, develop, restore, maintain, and expand high quality, sustainable OHV recreation areas and facilities throughout the state. To learn more, visit the Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program website.

Office of Historic Preservation (OHP)

The 1980 amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 helped establish a Certified Local Government Program (CLG) to encourage the direct participation of local governments in the identification, evaluation, registration, and preservation of historic properties within their jurisdictions and promote the integration of local preservation interests and concerns into local planning and decision-making processes. The CLG program is a partnership among local governments, OHP and the National Park Service (NPS), which is responsible for administering the National Historic Preservation Program.

As part of the CLG Program, OHP awards annual federal grants to local governments to assist with historic preservation programs. To learn more, visit the CLG Grant Program website.

Lone runner on long shady track at Salud Park Kids on play equipment under awning at park Woman retrieving soccer ball at edge of green soccer field in Albion Riverside Park