Photo by Mike Baird

Central Coast State Parks Association is one of 12 nonprofit organizations receiving first-ever Adventure Pass grants, enabling the association to provide meaningful and relevant outdoor experiences and visits to the Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History for Central Coast fourth graders and their families in 2023.

“The Adventure Pass Grants Program is providing previously out-of-reach resources to 12 incredible organizations so they can collaborate with their local State Park staff and ensure parks are enjoyed more equitably by fourth graders and their families,” said Parks California President and CEO Kindley Walsh Lawlor.

According to California State Parks, who along with Parks California recently announced the grants, too often transportation and other challenges prevent young people from taking advantage of the California State Park Adventure Pass, which gives free entry for fourth graders and their families at 19 participating state parks. The grants will help nonprofits and local community organizations facilitate visits for students and their families by providing transportation vouchers, free activities and programming, and multilingual resources.

The Central Coast State Parks Association “Coastal Explorers: Discover Morro Bay State Park” program will bring students from underserved communities to the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History for a free guided experience in the museum and its surrounding coastal area. Free transportation is provided for participants, including those who may be visiting from as far as three hours away. Students receive free admission to the museum and gas cards so they can return with their families. Morro Bay Paddlesports will provide a free kayaking experience and an “adventure kit” containing a backpack, sunscreen, reusable water bottle, hat, and activity booklets themed for the park.

“These 12 incredible non-profit partners are helping bridge the gap so that more fourth graders can begin a lifelong adventure in parks and experience the diversity state parks offer, creating new memories with their families,” according to California State Parks Director Armando Quintero.