Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the busy season at California State Parks including its Division of Boating and Waterways, which promotes public access to the state’s lakes and rivers.
State Parks helps preserve our state’s extraordinary biological diversity and protects its most valued natural and cultural resources. The sprawling department oversees the state’s much-vaunted state park system, which draws 67 million visitors a year and dots the landscape from San Diego to the Del Norte coast and inland to the Sierra Nevada and Mojave Desert.
The system includes 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lakes and rivers, 15,000 campsites and 4,500 miles of trails. About 60 full-time permanent lifeguards and 400 rangers oversee campgrounds, lakes and desert parks. The department is seeking more peace officers (lifeguards and rangers) and is accepting applications for its 2020 Cadet Academy until June 17. Please visit www.LivetheParksLife.com for more information.
As summer kicks off, State Parks uses a number of channels to get the word out on water safety and access.
“In addition to press releases, we use a number of social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to help us get information out to the public and media,” says Information Officer Adeline Yee. “We also do blogs, YouTube videos, media events and live stream events on social media.”
State Parks also issues a Weekly Digest that can be accessed online and sets up events, such as mock rescues last month at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area and Huntington State Beach to generate news coverage.
State Parks is busy not only with the start of Californians’ summertime love affair with the outdoors but also is working hard to meet month-end and year-end deadlines, after joining the FI$Cal system last summer. The department takes a proactive role among its 280 park units, initiating many trainings and learning opportunities for its approximately 1,700 FI$Cal users.
Every Friday the department conducts a FI$Cal Friday Lab, where a training room is set up in a lab format targeted at FI$Cal users to address specific issues. It also conducts FI$Cal Friday information sessions set up on an as-needed basis for its users. Those in other parts of the state can take part online via teleconference. The sessions are held to address specific issues and communicate changes to business processes.
The department has a few other tools in its arsenal to help FI$Cal users. It has set up a help desk for its FI$Cal users, where they can email FI$Cal4Parks@parks.ca.gov with questions and get help from subject matter experts. State Parks also has an intranet page dedicated to FI$Cal matters. The focus is making sure every State Parks FI$Cal user has the proper training and information to successfully transact in the system.