PLATINUM2023

FRIENDS OF SANTA CRUZ STATE PARKS

Thats My Park

Santa Cruz, CA   |  www.thatsmypark.org

Mission

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (Friends) is a vital partner with California State Parks, creatively working to ensure our cherished local parks and beaches are thriving and available to all. Friends’ innovative and collaborative community partnership provides support and investment for education, equity and inclusion, conservation, facilities improvements, historic preservation and cultural events.

Ruling year info

1976

Executive Director

Ms. Bonny Hawley

Main address

1543 Pacific Ave., Suite 206

Santa Cruz, CA 95060 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Monterey Bay Natural History Association

EIN

51-0183410

NTEE code info

Single Organization Support (N11)

Single Organization Support (C11)

Single Organization Support (A11)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Educational, Visitor and Park Developmental Services

In 2019, thanks to our wonderful supporters and community partners, working with California State Parks, we:

-Supported projects and programs in 35 state parks and beaches in Santa Cruz County and coastal San Mateo County.

-Provided project management, marketing, event planning, community outreach, fundraising and administrative support to our local California State Parks.

- Continued to grow Kids2Parks (K2P), an innovative park-equity program to bring students on field trips to the parks including Wilder Ranch, Henry Cowell, Castle Rock, Seacliff, Rancho del Oso, Castro Adobe, Natural Bridges and The Forest of Nisene Marks. This school year, K2P will serve 4,230 students. (Partners: Kitayama Brothers Flowers, Santa Cruz Elks Lodge #824, The Sempervirens Fund, Portola and Castle Rock Foundation, and other generous donors).

-Funded State Parks interpretive staff who led thousands of school field trips at 17 state parks and beaches.

-Employed 88 Friends Visitor Service Aides and 12 Senior Visitor Service Aides at our local parks and beaches.

All Parks
-Launched Commemorative Picnic Table Program.

Año Nuevo
-Funded replacement of the Kiosk planter and restored vegetation with native plants.

Big Basin
-Funded replacement of trail guide kiosks, water treatment facilities and emergency fuel needed during this year’s harsh winter.

Big Basin & Castle Rock
-Funded repair and realignment of the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail (Partner: The Nathan Foley-Mendelssohn Family)

Castle Rock
-Opened the new Robert C. Kirkwood Entrance Station in partnership with State Parks and The Sempervirens Fund, and contracted with State Parks to take full financial responsibility for management of the new park.

Castro Adobe
-Project-managed and funded construction of partition walls, electrical and alarm systems, and planning for fire suppression, lighting, paint and final finishes.
-Launched double-match campaign to raise funds for restoration. (Partners: Friends Board and Staff Matching Fund, James and Carol Toney Matching Fund)
-Funded interpretive planning including research, exhibit design, interpretive content and furnishings selection.
-Furnished the cocina (historic kitchen).
-Designed, built and installed barn owl boxes.
-Launched habitat restoration project in an environmentally sensitive watershed.

Forest of Nisene Marks
-Funded road repairs and improvements and trail signs installation project. (Partner: Advocates for the Forest of Nisene Marks)

Half Moon Bay
-Funded installation of traffic control barriers at various area beaches.

Henry Cowell
-Funded installation of an interpretive mural and taxidermy exhibit of a mountain lion. (Mural artist: Ann Elizabeth Thiermann)

Natural Bridges
-Funded new entrance kiosk, which kicked-off a program to replace deteriorated kiosks at various parks.

Pigeon Point
-Funded restoration of the Lighthouse Fog Signal Building. (Partner: Coastside State Parks Association)

Portola Redwoods
-Supported upgrade of the campground.
(Partner: Portola and Caste Rock Foundation)

Santa Cruz Mission
-Purchased artifacts to replace items lost in a break-in, fortified the door and upgraded the alarm system to prevent future losses. (Partners: California Missions Foundation
and a generous donor)
-Through Friends’ new ThatsMyPark Press brand, launched The Mission Santa Cruz Mystery: Seven Clues to Find the Site of the First Mission by Melanie J Mayer, with artwork by Ann Elizabeth Thiermann, to benefit the park.

Seabright and Twin Lakes
-Funded removal of driftwood and debris from the past winter storms, eliminating a fire hazard, and clearing the way for rescue operations.

Seacliff
-Upgraded the Visitor Center with new carpeting and a revamped ParkStore.

Wilder Ranch
-Funded the Farm Animal Program, materials for the Cow Barn restoration and repairs to livestock fencing for pastures and corrals.

FRIENDS SUPPORTERS CAME TOGETHER
for our beloved parks and beaches through an impressive array of local events and partnerships.

FRIENDS-SUPPORTED STATE PARKS EVENTS
-Natural Bridges State Beach – Welcome Back Monarchs Day and Migration Festival
-Wilder Ranch State Park – Gardening and Wool Day, Heritage Harvest Festival, Old-Fashioned Independence Day and Holidays on the Ranch
-Castro Adobe State Historic Park – Monthly Open House events and Holidays on the Rancho
-Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park – Summer Archaeology Program (Partner: Santa Clara University Cultural Resource Dept)
-Half Moon Bay State Beach – Wildflower Festival/Earth Day Celebration (Partners: Coastside State Parks Association, California State Parks Foundation)
-Seacliff State Beach – Centennial Celebration of the SS Palo Alto (aka “The Cement Ship”) (Partner: E.Clampus Vitas. Supporters: Pizza 1, Safeway, Taquitos Gabriel’s, Aces Flower, Forget Me Not Clothing, Juicy Sweet, Pacific Coffee Roasting, State Parks Junior Guards)
-Henry Cowell Redwoods – Annual State Parks Volunteer Celebration (Partners: Mountain Parks Foundation, Coastside State Parks Association, Waddell Creek Association, Portola and Castle Rock Foundation)

FRIENDS-HOSTED EVENTS
-Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park
 PopUp Picnics in the Park
 7th Annual Mole & Mariachi Festival
 Book Talk with Melanie J. Mayer and Ann Elizabeth Thiermann, author and artist of The Mission Santa Cruz Mystery: Seven Clues to Find the Site of the First Mission

-Castro Adobe State Historic Park – “Thankful for our Stewards: Creating a New State Historic Park Together,” special open house celebrating progress toward restoration.
-Seacliff State Beach – 4th of July Feed the Force event to supply refreshments throughout the day to first-responders. (Partners: Woodstock’s Pizza, Crystal Springs Water, Pacific Cookie Company, Marianne’s Ice Cream)

FRIENDS PARTNER EVENTS & PROGRAMS
-10th Annual Kitayama Brothers Gerbera Festival supporting Kids2Parks
-SS Palo Alto History Talk at the Aptos History Museum, along with concert at Cabrillo College, celebrating the centennial of the SS Palo Alto (aka “The Cement Ship”)
-Friends ParkStore wholesale partners: American Cycling, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Down Works, Epicenter Cycling, Kelly’s Books, Outdoor World, Santa Cruz Bicycles, Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, and the Waddell Creek Association

YOUTH ENGAGEMENT & PARK EQUITY
-Lifeguard Aquatic Safety Talks and Career Panels: Piloted program that provided more than 500 middle school and high school students with information on rip current awareness, beach safety and careers in California State Parks.
-Launched year three of TEAM Castro, high school youth leadership development program with seniors from Watsonville High School.
-Developed high school field trip model with Santa Cruz County Office of Education, serving students from alternative high schools.
-Partnered with Watsonville High School’s Environmental Science and Natural Resources Academy to provide students with additional opportunities to connect with California State Parks.
-Partnered with Community Bridges’ Nueva Vista program to offer 4th year of Summer Fun in Parks and a Spring Ocean Scholars program for youth in Santa Cruz’s Beach Flats community.
-Partnered with Your Future is Our Business and staffed 11 high school career fairs.
-Friends Community Outreach Director recognized as United Way Advocate of the Year
for his equity work in the community.
-Co-sponsored Food What?! youth empowerment dinner at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park.

Honored the memories of Nathan Foley-Mendelssohn, Buzz Gorsky, Maria Nieto, Dale & Euni Lingenfelter, Marvin Labrie, Ev & Marge McTaggart, Clayton Robert Gross, Ann M. Frohn, John Warren and Dick & Leslie Wenzel.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Dewitt Award for Partnership 2014

California State Parks Department

Landmark Award for Castro Adobe Restoration 2014

Santa Cruz County Historic Resources Commission

Innovation Award for California State Parks Backpacking Adventures Program 2018

California State Parks Director's Recognition Award

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of Friends-hosted events in the community and at local state parks and beaches.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Educational, Visitor and Park Developmental Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Friends-hosted events are organized and implemented by Friends staff and volunteers to educate and encourage the community to visit specific parks in Santa Cruz and Coastal San Mateo Counties.

Number of Friends-supported youth engagement and park equity events and programs.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People of Latin American descent

Related Program

Educational, Visitor and Park Developmental Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2016, Friends initiated programs to encourage park use by groups who under-utilize state parks and beaches, including immigrants, people of color, seniors, people with disabilities and youth.

Number of California State Parks events financially and programmatically supported by Friends.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Educational, Visitor and Park Developmental Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

California State Parks interpreters & volunteer docents organize educational events at local state parks & beaches enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. Friends funds all staff & expenses.

Number of events and programs organized in partnership with community businesses and organizations.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Educational, Visitor and Park Developmental Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Exhibits, festivals, book readings, etc. collaboratively organized to educate about local state parks and beaches and also raise funds for programs and services.

Amount of funds donated by Friends to support California State Parks service, programs and projects in local state parks and beaches.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Educational, Visitor and Park Developmental Services

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Friends funds invested in local state parks and beaches in Fiscal Years 14/15, 15/16 and 16/17.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

FRIENDS OF SANTA CRUZ STATE PARKS
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

FRIENDS OF SANTA CRUZ STATE PARKS

Board of directors
as of 10/12/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Nikolara Dunbar-Jansons

Ann Lauten Fay

Retired

Barney Levy

Retired

Charlie Kieffer

Retired

Ed Newman

Accountant

Eric Van Vliet

Senior Data Analyst

Georgann Scally

Retired

Maggie Mathias

Scientist

Mike McMenamy

State Park Superintendent

Nikolara Dunbar-Jansons

Office Administration

Stuart Kitayama

Co-Owner, KB Farms

Curt Simmons

Plaza Lane Optometry

Crissy Canalas

Hewlett Foundation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/12/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data