This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advocates for the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

We are a non-profit volunteer organization that supports the maintenance and improvement of the park. The Advocates’ activities which support this goal include: assisting State Parks in the operation and maintenance of the park; improving, maintaining and patrolling the hiking trails; and sponsoring projects in the park.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Big Basin is our oldest California State Park and the land where the redwood conservation movement began. Docents are needed to share the nature and history of the park and to conduct a variety of hikes and walks. Docents are also needed to host the Semperviren’s Room and assist with special events. Contact: Susan Blake  831-338-8883

Big Basin Volunteer Trail Crew

The Big Basin Volunteer Trail Crew makes it possible for others to safely enjoy the beauty of Big Basin State Park.  The BBVTC always needs volunteers dedicated in preserving this environment for present and future generations. Join the BBVTC for a unique perspective of Big Basin, a lively and productive experience with others who share a love of these redwood forests, and the satisfaction of participating in a vital part of the park’s ability to educate and inspire the public!

Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument

The campaign is working closely with the community to seek designation of Cotoni-Coast Dairies as a National Monument by Congress and President Obama. The campaign is also coordinating with local government and community groups to incorporate community input into the monument designation process.


Access to green spaces is a social determinant of health, but there are clear barriers to equity that must be addressed for our community to thrive. Through that lens, County Park Friends invests in People and Places, centering community voice for the co-design of programs, projects and policies as the foundation for change.​ Whether co-design of a program or fiscal sponsorship of a park capital project, we are here to help YOU activate the power of our parks.


FoCLB assists Santa Cruz County Parks in meeting its mission to provide a safe, well-designed and maintained County beach access; assists County Planning and County Parks in meeting management obligations for wildlife habitat protection at Corcoran Lagoon Beach; and assists CA Fish & Wildlife in protecting the inner lagoon outflow from artificial breaching.  Our main goals are to preserve and protect wildlife habitat, including nesting sites and the shoreline of the Monterey Bay National Marie Sanctuary, to educate through citizen science opportunities, and to chronicle species who call the beach their home through photography and exhibits.

Friends of Pogonip

Friends of the Pogonip is currently devoted to the stewardship of this 640-acre treasured natural area, with its unusual geology featuring the Ben Lomond earthquake fault and many year-long and pure-flowing springs, varied habitats for wildlife, several rare and endangered plant species, and a rich history. It is our community’s public common. We need to take care of it. Pogonip is a Santa Cruz City Open Space.

Friends of Santa Cruz County Parks

Friends of Santa Cruz County Parks (FSCCoP) is dedicated to developing a healthy community through connections to our County Parks. Our mission is to preserve, protect, improve and promote the use of county parks and open spaces for recreational activities, arts and cultural enrichment events for the benefit of all of our generations in our diverse community.

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks

The Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks fund interpretive programs for school groups and the public, native plant restorations, State Park docent programs, museum and exhibit construction, historical building restoration, summer day camps, and community education events.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Volunteer at the home where banana slugs roam! Visitors come from all over the world to visit an ancient grove of redwood trees and the many dynamic habitats and history found here. Docents at Henry Cowell have the opportunity to host the visitor center, conduct redwood loop walks, day hikes, school group tours, campfire programs, junior ranger programs (7-12 year olds),little ranger programs (3-6 year olds) and assist with some fun events such as Bug Day, Ohlone Day, and Astronomy Nights.
Contact: Steven Ellmore  831-335-1743

Hill Tromper Santa Cruz

We help connect people to nature and each other by making it easier and more meaningful to go play outside. So we’ve built a one-stop outdoor recreation guide for Santa Cruz County with information about all of the best locations—the parks, beaches, bike trails and other beautiful nooks and crannies where people go to hike, ride their bikes, surf, run with their dogs and generally grok the wonder that is the Central Coast. You won’t find us outing secret spots, but you will find us going deeper than anyone else into the treasure trove of local places worth knowing about.

Little Basin Cabins and Campground

Creating partnerships to provide positive life-changing experiences by fully supporting your program while you are enjoying one of campground facilities. Volunteer programs and memberships help the park.  Inactive since CZU fire

Moss Landing Wildlife Area

Moss Landing Wildlife Area is an 872-acre property that is part of the largest unaltered salt marsh along the California coast. The tidal marsh is dominated almost exclusively by perennial pickleweed. Elkhorn Slough is an essential ‘pit-stop’ for migratory shorebirds. Mammals such as harbor seal and sea otter also occur in the area. Many of the over 300 species of birds recorded in the watershed of Elkhorn Slough also occur within the Moss Landing Wildlife Area, most notably the Federally threatened Western Snowy plover.

Mountain Parks Foundation

In cooperation with California State Parks – provides resources that enrich visitors’ experiences by expanding their knowledge and appreciation of the natural environment and cultural heritage of Henry Cowell and Big Basin Redwoods State Parks.

Natural Bridges State Park

Docents are needed to lead monarch butterfly and tide-pool tours for school groups during the week and act as park ambassadors with the general public on weekends. Come help host the Visitor Center, assist in the bookstore, help with special events, tend the milkweed garden, restore native plants, maintain the aquarium, share with others about the resources and more. There are two volunteer training programs for Natural Bridges each year: September for Monarch Butterfly training, and March/April for tide pool training. Docents participate by volunteering 6 hours per month minimum following training. Contact: Martha Nitzberg or 831-423-4609

Portola and Castle Rock State Parks

Become one of an elite group of trailblazers by joining a groundbreaking new group of Volunteers in Parks at Castle Rock State Park, known for its rock-climbing, hiking and backpacking opportunities, and Portola Redwoods State Park, popular with campers and hikers. You can register any time of year for the upcoming annual spring training series.   Contact: Rose Nelson

Quail Hollow Ranch County Park

The Quail Hollow Ranch Volunteer Program offers you a chance to do any or all of these while being involved with your local parks. There are two options of volunteer service: helping with programs as a Docent or helping with projects as a Volunteer.

Rancho del Oso—at the coastal section of Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Docents are needed on the weekends, and in the future, on weekdays to host the Nature and History Center and conduct nature walks. With its million-dollar ocean view and 7 habitats to explore and steward, you will fall in love with this place. There is also a new wilderness patrol team of volunteers as well. Docents participate by volunteering 6 hours per month minimum following training. Contact the volunteer coordinator, Jeremy Lin, at 831-427-2288 or 831-425-1218

Santa Cruz City Parks

Santa Cruz City has 28 parks, including Delaveaga, Garfield, Harvey West, La Barranca, Mission Plaza, and Neary Lagoon!

Santa Cruz County Parks

Parks, Open Space, and Cultural Services with docent and other volunteer opportunities.

Seacliff State Beach and California Department of Parks and Recreation

Seacliff is famous for its beached and broken old “cement” ship, a relic of WWI with an interesting tale to tell. The Park is also a fossil hotspot with 3 million year old ancient marine seashells lodged in the cliff. Come host the Visitor Center, lead educational programs and assist with special events such as craft days. There are also opportunities for leading walks in the Forest of Nisene Marks if you’d like.  Contact: Christina Cecchettini  831-685-6444

Wilder Ranch State Park

Docents conduct tours of the grounds and buildings in the historic complex, lead activities and help with events as well as work in the visitor center and lead nature walks and hikes. Volunteers also help with school groups who come to “ranch kids days” where they get to experience life on the ranch first-hand at volunteer-led activity stations. Docents often dress in historic clothing and conduct tours as well as historic demonstrations. Other volunteer opportunities include hosting the Visitor Center and bookstore, blacksmithing, care and feeding of the farm animals, and assisting with special events. Contact:  Sandy Tolzda  or Barbara Cooksey 831-426-0505