What is the mission of Green Friday?

  • Green Friday’s purpose is to connect people with California’s outdoors for the first time or to rekindle their love for them by providing free admission to participating state parks.
  • The primary goal is to build long-term appreciation and support for these remarkable places.

2016 Green Friday

  • 116 California state parks, from majestic redwoods to pristine beaches, are participating in the 2016 Green Friday program.
  • Thanks to the support of members and donors from Save the Redwoods League and the California State Park Foundation, more than 13,000 free vehicle day-use passes will be available to visitors for use at one participating state park on Friday, November 25.
  • This represents more than a 140 percent increase in participating parks from 2015.

What is a Day-Use Parking Pass?

  • At most state parks, day use fees are charged for vehicle day-use only, essentially this is a parking fee. Our Green Friday day-use parking passes will be valid at a specified park on November 25th only, during posted park hours. This free day-use parking pass is valid for one vehicle, for a one-time entry.
  • There is typically no charge to walk or bike into parks.
  • Please note that most historical parks and museums charge an admission fee per person.
  • Other park fees such as boat launch or camping fees are not included with the free day-use parking pass.

How Do I Obtain a Day-Use Parking Pass?

  • Visitors will be able to reserve and print their day-use pass starting November 16th at noon on the program’s website, GreenFriday.org.
  • Passes will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis based on each park’s capacity.
  • Visitors need only obtain one day-use pass per vehicle.
  • The pass covers day-use admission and parking fees. A pass does not guarantee a parking space or entry if the park is full due to high demand.
  • To ensure valid entry and avoid fines, printed passes must be presented to park staff at entry gates or displayed on vehicle dashboards if no personnel are on duty.
  • Electronic images of the pass will not be accepted.
  • Visitors without passes are welcome but must pay admission.

Does Everyone in the Vehicle Need a Printed Parking Pass?

  • No, visitors need only obtain one day-use pass per vehicle.

What happens if I misplace my day-use pass?

  • If you misplace your day-use pass and do not bring a printed copy with you, you will be asked to pay admission to the park. We recommend arriving early with your printed pass to ensure free and valid entry into participating parks on Green Friday.
  • Unfortunately, electronic images of the pass will not be accepted.

What happens if a park has ‘sold out’ of free day-use parking passes?

  • Visitors without passes are welcome, but must pay admission. Due to the park’s popularity, consider planning your visit during the off-peak hours: opening time to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to closing time.

What Should Visitors Expect

  • Consider visiting a state park during the off-peak hours – opening time to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to closing time.
  • Day-use hours apply (generally from 8 a.m. to sunset). Hours for individual parks may vary; operating hours may be confirmed by visiting www.parks.ca.gov/ParkIndex.
  • We encourage all park visitors to obey park rules.
  • Plan your trip by visiting GreenFriday.org.
  • Share your experiences with us on social media using the hashtags #GreenFriday and #CAStateParks.

Outdoor Tips

  • This yearly tradition offers stunning scenery, exercise, fresh air, and the opportunity for connecting with family and friends.
  • We want our visitors to enjoy the outdoors safely. Simple actions can positively increase your outdoor experience. Such actions include taking water and snacks along with you, staying on designated trails, taking breaks, and letting people know where you are going and approximately what time you’re coming back.
  • For more outdoor tips, please visit GreenFriday.org or www.parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.

Can I bring my dog to a state park?

  • In general, dogs are permitted in most state parks but must be on a leash not exceeding six feet in length at all times. It’s always a good idea to call ahead to see if dogs are allowed in the state park you wish to visit. Please remember that violations of these rules may lead to a costly citation. Remember too that you are financially responsible for injuries or damage caused by your dog. To ensure everyone’s visit to California State Parks is pleasant, please do not leave your pet unattended, and remember to clean up after them. For more information, visit https://www.parks.ca.gov

How Did Green Friday Originate?

  • The seminal event occurred last year when the well-known retailer REI closed all its stores on the day after Thanksgiving, urging outdoor activities as an alternative to Black Friday shopping. More than a million supporters signed on to REI’s #OptOutside campaign.
  • Save the Redwoods League decided to take the initiative a step further by encouraging people to enjoy the holiday with friends and family in California’s most spectacular landscapes.
  • Collaborating with California State Parks in 2015, the League removed a critical barrier for park visitors: the day-use fee.
  • With 48 redwood parks participating, the League launched the new Thanksgiving tradition of Green Friday.
  • The public response was so strong that the program was expanded to 116 parks for 2016.

How Is Green Friday Funded?

  • Green Friday is supported by the generous members and donors of Save the Redwoods League and California State Parks Foundation.

Next Year?

  • Save the Redwoods, California State Parks Foundation, and our partners are establishing this new tradition to encourage Californians to enjoy state parks as part of their holidays.
  • We intend to continue with Green Friday in coming years, building and strengthening partnerships with allied private groups and public agencies and encouraging people throughout California and the country to visit their parks and open spaces on the day after Thanksgiving.

Why is it important for people to spend time in the outdoors?

  • Spending time outdoors is important for our health, both mental and physical. Outdoor recreation relieves stress, boosts creativity and imagination, and reinvigorates the mind while promoting active, healthy lifestyles. These benefits can be magnified by spending time with family and friends, strengthening the bonds between us and nature.
  • Surveys indicate that a single visit to a grove of ancient redwoods is an experience so powerful that it can foster a life-long commitment to the protection of the world’s wild and special places. (Save the Redwoods League)
  • With over 340 miles of coastline and coastal habitat, and over 4,700 miles of non-motorized trails, California’s state parks provide opportunities to improve your health through outdoor recreation.
  • California’s state parks are for everyone. By offering free day-use passes, we hope to initiate thousands of new visits to our state park system, inspire a love of nature, and establish a strong conservation ethic across diverse generations and communities.

There are 280 state parks, why isn’t my park included in the event?

  • We worked with our partners to offer passes to as many state parks as possible. There are several state parks that do not currently collect fees, and those parks are not included in this promotion because you don’t need a pass to visit – yay!
  • We invite and encourage you to visit these parks on Green Friday and throughout the year since they don’t charge a day-use fee.
  • A great gift from the people who helped protect these special places for you and your friends and family forever.
  • All parks are unique, and we do our best to share all of them with you!
  • Start your visit here GreenFriday.org.