Save the Redwoods League: Jennifer Benito-Kowalski | Cell: (415) 602-1037 | Email: jbenito@SaveTheRedwoods.org
California State Parks: Gloria Sandoval | Cell: (916) 956-6814 | Email: Gloria.Sandoval@parks.ca.gov
California State Parks Foundation: Linsey Fredenburg-Humes | Cell: (916) 204-5210 | Email: Linsey@calparks.org
OVER 35,000 PEOPLE SPENT BLACK FRIDAY OUTDOORS IN CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS
— 116 State Parks Offered Free Admission
San Francisco, Calif. (December 15, 2016) — On the day after Thanksgiving, November 25, 2016, over 35,000 people ventured into 116 state parks throughout California for Green Friday, an event hosted by Save the Redwoods League, California State Parks, and the California State Parks Foundation. The Green Friday event aimed to raise awareness for the state park system and to promote enjoyment and appreciation of California’s beautiful state parks.
By the day of the event, just ten days after announcing to the public, 11,560 free day-use parking passes were downloaded, 90 parks reached capacity. Members and donors of Save the Redwoods League and California State Parks Foundation split the cost of the 11,560 reserved day-use parking passes, totaling $115,600.
“Some of the most stunning state parks and preserves can be found in California, and for 98 years Save the Redwoods League has helped save and inspire people to go to these special places,” said Sam Hodder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Save the Redwoods League. “We’re so thankful to our members, the California State Parks Foundation donors, and California State Parks for making it easier for communities throughout the state to enjoy these truly unique and wondrous state parks with friends and loved ones this holiday season.”
“The turnout was incredible on Green Friday!” said California State Parks Director Lisa Mangat. “Park visitation was on par with peak times in the summer, and many visitors told us that they were able to explore a new park or that this was their first time in any California state park. It was touching to work with partners, volunteers, docents, and park staff who were committed to making this day special for everyone, and to generate support and enthusiasm for our beautiful parks.”
“We were honored to help support Green Friday and increase the number of free day-use passes,” said California State Parks Foundation President Elizabeth Goldstein. “Building on the momentum of last year’s event and taking it statewide helped people in all regions experience California’s diverse and wonderful state parks.”
Just over 13,000 free vehicle day-use passes were made available to visitors beginning November 16 for use at one of the 116 participating state parks on the day after Thanksgiving, November 25, 2016. Passes were available on a first-come, first-serve basis on #GreenFriday.org. The number of passes available for each destination was determined by each park’s capacity.
In 2015, Green Friday’s first year, members of Save the Redwoods League sponsored 5,000 free day-use passes to 48 redwood state parks. Over 20,000 participants visited the redwoods that day — many for the first time – and all 5,000 free day-use passes were distributed. This event was made possible through a partnership between California State Parks and Save the Redwoods League.
One of the nation’s oldest conservation organizations, Save the Redwoods League has been preserving, protecting, and restoring redwood forests since 1918, connecting generations of visitors with the beauty and serenity of the redwood forest. Our 17,000 supporters have enabled the League to protect almost 200,000 acres of irreplaceable forest in 66 state, national, and local parks and reserves. For more information, go to SaveTheRedwoods.org.
California State Parks Foundation is a member-supported nonprofit dedicated to protecting, improving and advocating for all of California’s state parks. With our community of supporters, we deliver innovative solutions for an excellent parks system by facilitating park improvements, inspiring stewardship, supporting partners, advocating for sound policies, and connecting people to parks. Together we ensure that the natural beauty, rich culture and history, and recreational and educational opportunities of our 280 state parks are available for all to enjoy now and for generations to come. Visit us at calparks.org.
The California Department of Parks and Recreation provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Off-highway motor vehicle recreation, boating activities, horseback riding, on and off-road cycling, hiking, camping, and rock climbing are some of the recreational activities enjoyed in 280 state parks organized into 22 field districts throughout the state. Visit us at parks.ca.gov.