About CalParks

Nonprofit dedicated to protecting, enhancing and advocating for California's magnificent state parks.

Showing LOVE for California state parks

Valentine Blog Heart RockHow do we love state parks? Let us count the ways! In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve put a California state park twist on classic love poems and songs.

How do I love state parks? Let me count the ways.
I love state parks to the mountain and desert and sea
My soul can reach, when feeling out of glee

Based on How do I love Thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Shall I compare our parks to a summer’s day?
They art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds to shake the darling buds of May
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

Based on Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

Valentine Blog Salton SeaSea’s got a park it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see this place
It puts the biggest smile on my face

And if I was away too long
I’d probably break down and cry.

Oh, oh, oh
Sweet Salton Sea
Oh, oh, oh, oh
State park of mine

Based on Sweet Child O Mine by Guns N Roses

Valentine Blog Angel IslandI left my heart on Angel Island
Center of the bay, it calls to me
To be where lots of trees climb hallway to the stars
The morning fog may chill the air, I don’t care
My love waits there on Angel Island

Based on Left My Heart in San Francisco by Tony Bennett

Valentine Blog TopangaI hopped off the plane at LAX
With a dream and my trekking poles
Welcome to the land of trail excess
Woah, can I fit them all in?

Jumped in the park
I’m at Topanga for the first time
Look to my right and I see the park’s trail head sign
This is all amazing
Everything seems so spacious!

Based on Party In The U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus

Valentine Blog Emerald BayI’ve got Tahoe on a cloudy day
When it’s cold outside I’ve got the Emerald Bay
Well I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way?
State parks (state parks, state parks)
Talkin’ ‘bout state parks (state parks)

Based on My Girl by the Temptations

Valentine Blog RedwoodHow sweet it is to see trees like you
Ooh, redwoods, I needed the shelter of someone’s leaves
And there you were
I needed someone to support my hikes all around
And there you were
With sweet love and devotion
Deeply touching my emotion
I want to stop and thank you redwoods
I just want to stop and thank you redwoods
How sweet it is to see trees like you!

Based on How Sweet It Is by Marvin Gaye

P – is for the way they’re so pretty
A – is for how awesome they can be
R – is really, really, extraordinary
K – is knowing that they’re also wildlife habitat
Parks are all a gift for me and you
Parks all need support from me and you
Parks are more than just a tree or two
With us parks can make it
Care for them and please don’t fake it
Parks were made for me and you!

Based on L.O.V.E. by Nat King Cole

Valentine Blog Trailhead signAlthough we’ve come
To the end of the road
Still I can’t go home
It’s so natural
Parks belong to me
Parks belong to you
And now we’ve come
To the end of the trail
Take a deep inhale
It’s so natural
Parks belong to me
Parks belong to you

Based on End Of The Road by Boyz II Men

Want to show your love for California state parks? Fill in the poem below (or create your own)! Don’t forget to share your words of love by commenting below or sharing with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #ILoveCAStateParks!

California Fuchsias are red,

Wild Lilacs are blue.



What you can do for national parks during the shutdown

yosemite hero image shutdown email jan 2019

Yosemite National Park

Like you, we keep up with news about any parks – not just state parks. We’ve seen our national parks in crisis the last few weeks during the government shutdown. The situation is serious: Wildlife picking through bins piled high with trash, latrines overflowing with waste, unfettered off-roading in fragile ecosystems and more.
If you share our concerns, here are some things you can do:

  1.  Contact your U.S. senator and representative and urge them to find an equitable solution to end the shutdown. National parks need funding and support.
  2.  We believe public lands should be open and available to all – but given current conditions, it’s worth re-considering plans until national parks are fully staffed, safe to visit and can more fully be enjoyed. In California our 280 state parks (as well as many other regional and local parks) are open, unaffected and waiting to be enjoyed.
  3.  If you do visit a national park, be prepared to carry out what you carry in, and practice “Leave No Trace” principles to protect plant and animal life. Ask other visitors you meet to do the same.
  4.  When national parks reopen, volunteer your time to clean up and restore areas damaged during the shutdown.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we continue to be the best resource we can for you. Thank you for being such an important part of the parks community.

Get more information about national parks during the government shutdown from National Park Foundation. 

P.S. Did you know that Yosemite used to be a state park? Set aside for public use and preservation as a California state park in 1864, it was designated as a national park in 1890, the third in the United States. Next year, it will celebrate its 130th birthday as a national park!