State Parks Love: Park Champions

Give a favorite park some TLC.

EARTH MONTH... has a way of tapping all of us on the shoulder in a persistent and important way. It's a reminder of many issues, and vital things at stake, and that the world beyond our front door is wild and alive, a world that benefits from our compassion and care. Earth Month coming back around is like getting an email from our planet with "urgent" in the subject line, an email we will, fingers crossed, answer promptly. So in what ways do we pitch in, help out, and love on nature during April and beyond? One route is to put on some work gloves and get busy as a volunteer at a state park, whether that's through maintaining trails or de-rubbishing beaches or a little bit of all of the above.

A FULL CALENDAR OF TO-DOS: If you can wield a shovel, or pull some weeds, or help restore a trail, or pick up trash along a beach, well, high fives all around. The fabulous news is that California State Parks Foundation boasts a bevy of pitch-in opportunities all year long via its Park Champions program. What sort of opportunities? Angel Island State Park is the scene of a beach clean-up on May 1 -- your ferry trip over is free -- while China Camp State Park will receive some TLC along the hiking and bike trails on April 30. Want to do what you can for plant and animal habitats? Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook in LA is the place to volunteer on May 1. Find your path to saying adieu and thank you to Earth Month in a big, helping, heartfelt way by perusing all the volunteer haps on the CSPF list.

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