The Parks Forward Commission has convened nine times between September 2013 and May 2017 to assess the current system, review and discuss research and findings, adopt final recommendations, and monitor the Department of Parks and Recreation's progress in implementing these recommendations.

May 22, 2017

At this meeting, the Commission discussed the status of transformation and priorities for 2017-2018 with Department Director Lisa Mangat. The Potrero Group updated the Commission about a feasibility study for a statewide nonprofit organization to support parks, and the Commission learned about a partnership project in the redwoods. 

August 16, 2016

At this meeting, the Commission assessed the status of transformation at the Department of Parks and Recreation and discussed next steps. Department Director Lisa Mangat updated the Commission on the transformation efforts.

October 21, 2015 

At this meeting, the Commission reviewed the status of implementation of its recommendations. Department Director Lisa Mangat updated the Commission on the Department’s transformation efforts. The Commission discussed implementation to date, and subsequently issued a report summarizing its findings, which is available here.

February 6, 2015

At this meeting, Parks Forward commissioners discussed and voted to approve their final recommendations for California’s State Parks System. Before the vote, Co-Chair Lance Conn provided an overview of the recommendations, as well as some early implementation projects supported by the Parks Forward Initiative. California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird and Acting Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation Lisa Mangat expressed their support for the Parks Forward plan and explained the Department’s actions to begin implementing it, including the creation of a Transformation Team to lead this work. 

August 6, 2014Parks Forward commissioners spent the majority of this meeting discussing the most recent version of their draft plan [for more information on how this plan was created, please click here].  In addition, at this meeting, Acting Director of California State Parks Lisa Mangat gave a brief overview of critical improvement projects already underway at the Department.  Ken Wiseman, Executive Director of the Parks Forward Initiative, also gave a brief update on the Initiative's activities since the April 30 meeting in San Francisco.

April 30, 2014At this meeting, the director of the National Park Service (NPS) presented plans for the Park Services' 100th Anniversary, noting many similarities between current issues at California State Parks and NPS.  Parks Forward commissioners then discussed the latest Staff Draft Report, focusing on the potential recommendations found in Chapter 5. In addition, the Executive Director of the Parks Forward Initiative gave an update on the most recent Parks Forward timeline. 

February 12, 2014At this meeting, commissioners presented findings from recent work groups and discussed a working draft report outline written by staff.  A private research and development firm presented a report on the awareness, attitude and use of parks.  In addition, the Director of State Parks gave an update on recent and ongoing activities at the department. 

December 18, 2013:At this meeting, staff and commissioners presented the results of outreach efforts, consultant work on the financials of State Parks, and independent research on innovative models from other state and national park systems.The Director of State Parks also gave an update on near-term activities at the department. 

September 18, 2013: 
The Parks Forward Commission held its first meeting on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 in Sacramento. The discussion focused on exploring the state's changing demographics as well as the challenges facing California State Parks. 


These informal work group meetings provided Parks Forward commissioners the opportunity to discuss Parks' related issues in more depth.  All meetings were open to the public,  and those in attendance were welcome to make comments directly to commissioners.

Finance and Partnerships Work GroupJanuary 21, 2014
10:00am - 12:00pm
Crowne Plaza, 4290 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, California 94305

Finance and Partnerships Work GroupJanuary 27, 2014
9:30am – 11:30am
David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way
Berkeley, California 94704

Public Health & Park Access Work GroupJanuary 28, 2014
9:30am – 11:30am
David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way
Berkeley, California 94704

Public Health & Park Access Work GroupMarch 10, 201410:00am - 12:00pmRadisson Hotel - Los Angeles Midtown at USC Ballroom Center3540 South Figueroa St.Los Angeles, CA  90007

Public Health & Park Access Work Groups
March 14, 2014
1:00pm - 3:30pm
David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

Finance and Partnerships Work GroupMarch 17, 2014
1:00pm - 3:00pm
The Presidio Log Cabin
1299 Storey Ave
San Francisco, CA 94129