By Kathy Chouteau
The Richmond Public Library will be the portal to a world of outdoor adventure, thanks to one of two new California state park pass programs.
The State Library Parks Pass provides free day-use state park passes to libraries throughout California for library cardholders to check out. The Richmond City Manager’s latest newsletter stated that California State Parks is working to implement the program. The state park system anticipates that passes will be available in April. A source at the Richmond Public Library said that community members should start checking the library’s website toward the end of March and can contact the Adult Reference Desk for questions at that time.
Another free park pass program benefits California fourth-graders. The California State Park Adventure Pass currently offers fourth graders and their families in the state free day-use entrance to 19 California State Parks for a full year. See the list of participating parks here.
Both programs were signed into legislation by Governor Gavin Newsom in July 2021, with the California State Park Adventure Pass being a three-year pilot program funded by $5.6 million via SB 129 and the State Library Parks Pass being a two-year pilot program with $3 million in funding via the same bill.
First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who championed the pilot programs, said that for adults and children alike, “quality time in nature is good for our hearts, minds and bodies.” She added that no state is better-positioned than California “to leverage the great outdoors to augment our communities’ health and well-being—especially for youth in underserved communities.”
The report also stated that the state parks systems and Richmond Public Library look forward to providing our diverse communities with “more opportunities to become part of California’s landscape, enjoy the physical and mental benefits of connecting with nature and be inspired to take care of these treasured places for future generations.”