Parks for All Californians

Research Library > More than 150 Years

Help build the "More than 150 Years" Library!


"More than 150 Years" is a page in the Health in Parks Brochure that emphasizes California’s impressive park history.

Are you aware of research or other documents about the history of California’s park movement, a recreation experience unique to California, park visionaries, or historical significance of a park, etc.?

How to contribute

Please send your recommended additions to with the following:

  • A brief summary about the key findings, why you recommend this item, and the library category(ies) the item would best fit.
  • Your name, title, and organization, if applicable, so that we may recognize your contribution(s) to California’s Health in Parks Research Library.
  • Web address link to the item. If the item is not online, please attach the item to the email. Please zip the file if greater than 25 MB.


Title Summary
Balboa Park History

Advocacy from local residents helped turn this property into the beautiful park visited by people from all over the world.

On November 4, 1869 the San Diego Weekly Union published an anonymous letter that stated “A park in which men may go and breathe the pure air, look upon the sky unobscured by smoke, and see grass and trees and shrubbery, undulations of surface combining to form an exquisite landscape, and hear the song of the birds, is the property of everyone who enters or possesses the privilege of entering it, and is maintained for his comfort and happiness.”

Park History – Golden Gate Master Plan

On April 4, 1870, the state legislature passed “An Act to provide for the improvement of Public Parks in the City of San Francisco.” This article describes how what was once called “the great sand waste” became the world-renowned park it is today.

Transforming Underserved Communities - Vibrant Parks Help Create Healthy & Meaningful Communities

Through Proposition 84 Statewide Park Program (AB 31) more than 100 new parks were created or renovated from 2012-2017 in underserved communities.

This report describes how each project began, from local residents advocating for a park and using the community-based planning model for the creation of the park to transforming the community.

This article also discusses Park Access in California.