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Vol 3 Issue 4 - Summer 2019

Register NOW for Engaging in Partnerships at Asilomar

Brie Grossman, Partnership Analyst

Registration for the Engaging in Partnerships (EIP) training is open and filling up fast!

Join us at the beautiful Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove from October 15-17 for the all-partners gathering for concessions, operators, nonprofit partners, and the State Parks staff who work with them. State Parks previously hosted this training in 2017. There is no registration fee to attend.

View the tentative schedule here.

Tuesday, October 15:
Asilomar/Room check-in
3 p.m.–5 p.m. Registration pickup
7 p.m.–8 p.m. EIP Kick-off dessert reception

Wednesday, October 16:
Wednesday will start with a discussion about the path to next-generation outdoor recreation. We will learn from Cal Poly’s Experience Industry Management Department on a creative problem-solving process called “Design Thinking” and then dive deeper during the breakout session, so bring your park-related challenges and we will collectively solve them. Or maybe you’ll be more interested in enhancing collaborative communications, or learning about the value of annual plans, or how to show the impact of your partnership to donors and the public.

Thursday, October 17:
Thursday you will have the opportunity to hear directly from Director Lisa Mangat and the four field division chiefs, who will hold workshops to discuss State Parks’ reorganization, park operations, and the evolving relationships between partners and State Parks. Other breakout sessions include hosting special events in partnership, project planning, and a retail boot camp.

Friday, October 18:
SPECIAL FREE TRAINING OFFER FOR PARTNERS after Engaging in Partnerships Concludes

If your organization has five or more employees, then all staff are required by law to attend sexual harassment prevention training. In 2018 Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1343, which expanded the requirement for which businesses must receive sexual harassment training, including small businesses with five or more employees. Here is a great opportunity to check off a required training at no cost!
As a free service to California State Parks partners, State Parks will be offering the sexual harassment prevention training for employees and supervisors on Friday, October 18, at Asilomar, immediately following the Engaging in Partnerships training. Bear in Mind a four-hour course for all employees, will be held from 8 a.m. to noon, and the additional two-hour course for supervisors will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
To take advantage of this free training opportunity, please RSVP to Brie Grossman. Please indicate how many will be attending and if they are regular staff or a supervisor.



Solicitation Open: Recreational Trails and Greenways Grant

The California Natural Resources Agency will be accepting project proposals from Aug. 20, 2019, through Oct. 11, 2019, for the Recreational Trails and Greenways Grant Program. 

Approximately $27.7 million in awards will be funded by the program. Applicants submitting the most competitive proposals will be invited to participate in the next level of the competitive process, anticipated mid-late December 2019.

The Recreational Trails and Greenways Grant Program, funded by Proposition 68, will fund projects that provide nonmotorized infrastructure development and enhancements to promote new or alternate access to parks, waterways, outdoor recreational pursuits, and forested or other natural environments that encourage health-related active transportation and opportunities for Californians to reconnect with nature.

Eligibility and program requirements, including online submittal information, can be found at:

View the upcoming Technical Assistance Workshops here.
For material planning purposes, RSVPs are appreciated. Participants can RSVP using the following link: OR by calling (916) 653-2812 OR sending an email to

California State Parks' New Concession Business in FY2018-19

Jared Zucker, Concessions Program Manager

California State Parks’ Concessions Program completed more than 24 concession projects in Fiscal Year 2018-19. These projects included four requests for proposal, six negotiated contracts, four “pilot” concessions, and at least 10 contract amendments to execute optional contract extensions with existing partners, assign a contract from one partner to another, or make other contract modifications.

Highlights include establishing a new marina operator at Millerton Lake State Recreation Area with a funding commitment of more than $2 million in the first five years to rebuild the marina facilities; securing new contracts for most watersport rental and tour services in the Sierra District; and establishing new concessions to provide transportation services to South Yuba River State Park, bicycle tours at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and food services at the new Los Angeles State Historic Park. In FY 2018-19, the Concessions Program secured at least $3.2 million in rent and more than $2.1 million in facility improvements if the new contracts go to full term and concessionaires pay only the minimum guaranteed rent.

The Concessions Program looks forward to a productive FY 2019-20 to enhance visitor experiences in California’s state parks.

Reminder: Cooperating Association Annual Reports (DPR 973) Are Due

Sara Schlussler, Partnership Analyst

Reminder: Cooperating Association Annual Reports were due via online submission to the Partnerships Division by Friday, May 31, or within 15 days of submitting your IRS-990 (or applicable IRS tax documents such as 990-EZ). IRS extensions are included within this deadline, so please let us know if an IRS extension has been approved.

By now, most associations should have created an online account at If not, please do so as soon as possible. Once registered and approved by Partnerships Division staff, you will gain access to the online report forms.

For instructions and resources for the new reporting format, DPR973c, please visit the Policies and Guidelines webpage on the State Parks’ website and read through the “REVISED Annual Report Form for Cooperating Associations” section. Also visit the Training and Conferences webpage to access the DPR 973 Training Webinar.

Partners and cooperating association liaisons, please contact our office with any questions about the report or online submission process. We are more than happy to help.

Reminder: Operators Annual Revenue and Expenditure Reports Are Due

Dee Kirschman, Partnership Specialist

Please review your operating agreements to ensure you have submitted all required reports. As applicable to your specific agreement, reports may include:

  • Annual Revenue and Expenditure Reports for the period of July 1 through June 30 (due the following September 30)
  • Attendance Reports
  • Report of Operation (indicating amount due to the State)

Public Sector Partner now have the option of submitting your Annual Revenue and Expenditure Reports online using the new Partnerships Office Contract Management System.

Partners may register for an online account at Once registered and approved by Partnerships Division staff, you will gain access to the online report forms.

If you have any questions, please contact the Partnerships Division at or call us at (916) 653-7733. We are more than happy to help.

SB 1335: Sustainable Food Packaging at State Parks, Beaches, and Facilities 

Kevin White, Concessions Specialist

Senate Bill 1335, introduced February 16, 2018, and approved by the Governor on September 2018, will help California meet its waste diversion goals by ensuring all disposable food packaging is recyclable.

CalRecycle must adopt regulations by January 1, 2021 that clarify terms, specify criteria, and outline a process for determining the types of food service packaging that are reusable, recyclable, or compostable. CalRecycle will publish a list of approved food service packaging types on its website by March 2021 (within 90 days of adopting the regulations).

CalRecycle will be engaging in public workshops as part of the formal rulemaking process. The workshops will begin this fall. Sign up to receive notifications regarding workshops and other important information related to the regulation development process.

For more information on the regulatory process, please visit the Office of Administrative Law.


'What the outdoor rec industry doesn't get about Pride Month' 

Mikah Meyer, Opinion for 'High Country News'

Mikah Meyer highlights the importance of representation and inclusion of the LGBTQ community in the outdoor industry. He says, “If outdoor companies follow the example of the rest of corporate America, they could use their influence in a way that both helps their bottom line and improves the lives of outdoor lovers. Yet, while companies are chasing the “pink dollar” they could care less about the 1 trillion dollar purchasing power of the U.S. LGBTQ community.”


A New Entrance for Castle Rock State Park 

The Santa Cruz district and partners, Sempervirens Fund and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, are celebrating the opening of a new entryway into Castle Rock State Park. This public-private partnership adds much-needed parking and visitor services to the park. Learn more about this partnership and the new offerings at Castle Rock State Park

Progress on a New Food Service Concession at Los Angeles State Historic Park 

Kevin White, Concessions Specialist

Construction is underway for a new food service concession at Los Angeles State Historic Park. The facility consists of retrofitted shipping containers that will provide a full-service restaurant occupying approximately 4,000 square feet, including an expansive outdoor dining area at almost 3,000 square feet. Construction is scheduled to be completed later this year.   

California State Parks and the concessionaire, LA Pattie Shack, entered into a three-year agreement in February 2019. The company’s innovative take on building design aligns with the park’s storied history. The concessionaire also intends to provide an interpretative history of the Southern Pacific Railroad’s River Station, which opened in 1875 as a hub for freight and passengers from all over the world.

Angeles District looks forward to working with a new business partner that will bring locally sourced and artfully prepared meals to park visitors.

Left: The installation of retrofitting shipping containers in April 2019.
Right: Rendering of the future restaurant facility. 

Kart Track at Prairie City State Vehicular Recreation Area  

Peter Ostroskie, State Park Interpreter I, Gold Fields District

Tucked in the corner of Rancho Cordova is Prairie City State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA), a 1,200-acre park that hosts the only national motocross race held at a state park. While known for the Hangtown Motocross Classic event, as well as other major events, Prairie City is also home to a concessionaire you probably wouldn’t expect at an off-highway vehicle (OHV) park. The Prairie City Kart Track is a premier outdoor karting facility that offers kart rentals, special events, major races, classes, lectures, parts and gear services, and corporate outings.

Rentals are offered most Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. As part of the experience, the track offers all the safety gear needed to safely operate the kart. For the more serious riders, Prairie City Kart Track offers special event days and major races throughout the year, as well as classes on how to race and new technology lectures. The track holds major league events, which bring people from all over California and the United States.

State Parks Volunteer Walks Across the Country to Support Veterans 

Rachel Young, Volunteers in Parks Program, and Lee Hawkins, Malibu Sector

Every year, tens of thousands of outstanding individuals volunteer their valuable time in our parks. Right now, one of our volunteers is giving his valuable time again––this time, to raise awareness of veterans’ needs.

Last year, William Shuttleworth, along with his wife, Patty, traveled from their home in Massachusetts and volunteered as camp hosts at Point Mugu State Park. Their appreciation for our parks and love for the outdoors made them ideal hosts, and staff regularly received positive feedback from visitors and staff about the Shuttleworths’ service to the campground and its guests.

This year, William, who is an Air Force veteran, is doing a coast-to-coast tour of the United States. He is walking 3,600 miles from Massachusetts to the USS Midway Museum in San Diego to raise awareness of the needs of veterans. William started his journey in May and plans to finish by September 1.

If you would like to learn more about William’s journey, you can visit his Don’t Forget the Vets website at William has a map of his progress and a blog of his thoughts and experiences.

William is just one example of the exceptional volunteers who give of themselves every year to the benefit of our parks, surrounding community, and the millions of visitors who come to our parks every year.

Millerton Lake Marina Reconstruction 

Kent Gresham, San Joaquin Sector Superintendent, Central Valley District

A new concession contract for the marina at Millerton Lake State Recreation Area (SRA) began on Oct. 1, 2018, and the park’s visitors could not be happier.
The previous 50-year-old operating agreement between the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and State Parks expired in 2007, reverting all concession contracts at Millerton Lake SRA to a month-to-month status. This was followed by a new General Plan/Resource Management Plan, negotiating a new 25-year operating agreement between BOR and State Parks, and finally issuing a request for proposal for a concessionaire to operate the marina. 
Larry Calandra submitted a proposal to operate the marina at Millerton Lake SRA. Mr. Calandra has had an existing contract for watercraft rentals, Millerton Lake Rentals LLC, at Millerton Lake SRA since 2003 and has always been a great partner with State Parks. He has consistently provided high-quality service to our visitors and been very responsive to State Parks’ needs. Mr. Calandra took over operations of the marina with an early entry permit on Oct. 1, 2018. Since Millerton Marina LLC took on the operation of the marina, new wood decking has been installed on the gangway and a new marina store and fuel dock have been installed. The marina store features vessel equipment, safety gear, fishing tackle, prepackaged snacks and drinks, ice, and, of course, snow cones and ice-cream. After all, what kid doesn’t want a snow cone on a 100-plus degree Millerton summer day? 
Future plans include improving the marina’s anchor system, continuing to redeck all of the docks, and adding fresh food service options. Mr. Calandra says that business is booming and has far exceeded his expectations. The marina has gone from about a 70% occupancy rate when he took it over to completely full with a waiting list. We are excited for the future of the Millerton Marina, and greatly appreciate Mr. Calandra’s partnership.


State Parks Staff, Volunteers to Help Power Coastal Cleanup Day/Great Sierra River Cleanup September 21

Dennis Weber, Volunteers in Parks Program Manager

One of the largest one-day volunteer activities in California State Parks is scheduled Saturday, September 21. The Coastal Cleanup Day and simultaneous Great Sierra River Cleanup event brings volunteers to dozens of state parks to pick up garbage from beaches, lakes, rivers, and streams.

Launched in the 1970s and sponsored since 1985 by the California Coastal Commission, Coastal Cleanup Day attracts nearly 70,000 individuals annually to help clear coastal waterways of garbage. In 2017 (last year information available), volunteers gathered nearly 900,000 pounds of trash and recyclables. The program has cleared more than 24 million pounds of debris from California waterways since 1985. For more information or to sign up, go to

The Great Sierra River Cleanup is celebrating its 11th year and several state parks are participating. Sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, the cleanup event focuses on the Sierra watershed that provides more than 60% of California’s water supply. In 2017, the effort gathered more than 66,000 pounds of waste from along 224 miles of rivers and streams. For more information or to register to help, go to

State Parks provides locations and works with local nonprofit sponsors on logistics prior to the event. A big thanks to all State Parks volunteer coordinators, staff, and volunteers collaborating to make this day a success.

Bike Borrego at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Sam Blackney, Concessions Specialist

Bike Borrego in San Diego County provides interpretive tours on electric-assist fat tire bicycles into Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Dave Duncan, owner for Bike Borrego, informed us that “The goal of Bike Borrego is to provide the visitor with an opportunity to experience the park in an intimate and meaningful way. The trips are led by a certified interpretive guide. The guide’s task is to connect the visitor with the rich natural and cultural resources within the park. Our interpretive themes hope to engage the visitor in understanding this unique and storied landscape.”

California State Parks and the concessionaire Bike Borrego entered into a two-year contract in October 2018 to test the business concept. The company is providing an innovative way to enjoy the beautiful state park, be active, and learn about the cultural, biological, and geological aspects of the park. Although Bike Borrego is closed for summer, they will start providing tours again in October. Make sure to sign up for a tour early, as they often fill up quickly.


Thinking about assigning your concession contract? Things to consider...

Jared Zucker,  Concessions Program Manager 

From time to time, concessionaires request to assign their contracts to other business entities. There are several things to keep in mind when considering a contract assignment:

  1. Contract assignments can take between three to six months from the initial request to full contract execution. Due to the number of ongoing projects engaged by the Concessions Program, expediting assignment requests is usually not a priority and concessionaires should plan assignment requests accordingly.
  2. The department is not obligated to approve a contract assignment, but approval will not be unreasonably withheld.
  3. Requests to assign a contract that is in hold-over (a month-to-month arrangement) is not a good business practice, but the department will consider the assignment of contracts in hold-over. However, even if the department approves the assignment, the department’s control agencies, the ultimate approval authorities, may deny the assignment.
  4. To assign a contract that was originally awarded through a request for proposal (RFP) process, the assignee entity must meet or exceed the minimum requirements of the original RFP at the time of the assignment.
  5. The assignment process involves a review of the current concessionaire’s performance and compliance with rent and other reporting requirements. If the concessionaire is not in good standing, the contract assignment will likely be delayed.
  6. A concession contract’s facility development requirements must be reconciled prior to assigning a contract and any outstanding requirements transfer to the assignee. All facility improvement account balances also transfer to the assignee.
  7. During an assignment, the department may determine that the required contract plans (Operations, Interpretive and Facility Development Plans, as applicable) may need to be updated or revised. Any update or revision to the plans will likely add processing time.
  8. The department does not get involved with the sale of the concession business and/or any personal property between the concessionaire and the assignee. However, no value should be applied to any intellectual property owned by the State, as provided in the concessionaire’s contract. Any sale of the State’s intellectual property is an infringement on the State’s ownership rights.

The Concessions Program recognizes contract assignments are an important tool to give concessionaires and the department flexibility in the provision and continuance of visitor-enhancing services. Often, the contract assignment process is misconstrued as a simple and fast process; however, there are several steps and considerations that must be taken into account as described above.

If you have questions about the contract assignment process, please reach out to the Concessions Program office at or (916) 653-7733.

CALPA Supports Nonprofit Park Partners

Nonprofit partners that are members of California League of Park Associations (CALPA) can take advantage of many webinars on organizational development and partnering with parks through the Public Lands Alliance. Webinars can be viewed anytime at their resource library, too. To learn more or join CALPA, visit



  • State Parks has entered into a co-management agreement with longtime partner and cooperating association Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (Friends) to share management and operations functions for park units within the Santa Cruz District. During this five-year collaboration, Friends’ core duties will be development, improvement, restoration, care, maintenance, administration, and operation of park units. This expanded partnership will offset department costs by approximately $6,700,000.
  • Rolando Cadungon began a new three-year contract for Shorty’s Eatery at Shasta State Historic Park. He will be providing café services in a historic setting to the public and local community. Read more here.

Requests for Proposal (RFPs)

  • Channel Coast District opened an RFP to operate three camp stores at El Capitán and Refugio State Beaches and Gaviota State Park. 
  • Huntington State Beach opened an RFP to operate beach stands, equipment rentals and catering services.
  • Doheny State Beach opened an RFP to operate beach stand and catering services.  
  • California Citrus State Historic Park RFP closed and Concessions is reviewing proposals.
  • Lake Perris State Recreation Area RFP for the marina closed August 21.
  • South Carlsbad State Beach Camp Store
  • Lake Oroville State Recreation Area Feather River Center
  • Locke Boarding House Museum
  • Old Town San Diego State Historic Park Interpretive Indian Market

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California State Parks and Recreation: The Partnerships Division · 715 P St. · Sacramento, Ca 95814 · USA

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