How Did the League Help Start the State Parks System?

Save the Redwoods ladies, 1918. Photo courtesy of Humboldt Historical Society.
Save the Redwoods ladies, 1918. Photo courtesy of Humboldt Historical Society.

With California State Parks’ 150th anniversary just around the corner, it seems like a good time to reflect on the League’s role in shaping State Parks and to look back at our shared history.

Since its inception in 1918, the League has been a partner of California’s state parks, and we have worked together to protect land across the ranges of coast redwoods and giant sequoias, from the coastal canyons of Big Sur to the alluvial plains of the Humboldt coast.  Our shared work is far from done, and as State Parks begins its next 150 years, we need each other more than ever.

If you’re wondering how an organization that started in 1918 could help start a parks system that turns 150 next year, check out the League’s account of this shared history and take a look at State Parks’ tale of how the system was born. League Councilor Joseph Engbeck, Jr.’s excellent book State Parks of California: From 1864 to the Present gives a rich account of the history of the parks and the League’s role in it, but for a shorter read, have a look at this timeline of our shared early history.

For more information on the 150th Anniversary of State Parks, visit

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About Richard Campbell

Richard joined the League’s staff in 2012 as the Conservation Science Manager and now serves as Director of Restoration. He brings nearly a decade of experience in forest management and restoration.

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